McIlroy eyes Masters at Pebble Beach Pro

Rory Mc Ilroy of Northern Ireland addresses a press conference ahead of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro Am on the Pebble Beach Golf Links

Indeed, McIlroy birdied all four of the Par 5s at Spyglass Hill - traditionally the toughest of the three courses used in the tournament - as he stayed very much in touch with clubhouse leaders Kevin Steelman (seven-under-par 65 at Spyglass Hill) and Beau Hossler (65 at Pebble Beach).

Playing at Monterey Peninsula Country Club in Round 2, the Northern Irishman came up just short on the drivable par-4 fifth.

"I'd say in the top five", he added. "And I know with the right dedication and working on the right things that that could be achievable for me", said McIlroy, who has returned reinvigorated and with a new hunger since recovering from the rib injury that disrupted his season through the 2017 campaign.

Day, an 11-time US PGA Tour victor, shares 32nd with a host of players including five time major victor Phil Mickelson.

One former world number one offered rare praise to another on Wednesday as Jason Day said Rory McIlroy had "Tiger-esque" skills on the golf course.

"It's a tournament that I've always watched and I've always thought one day it would be really cool to play with my dad, and fortunately we were able to get him in and play", McIlroy said.

However, though McIlroy may eventually reach that aspiration, Friday's round at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am showed there's still a long road ahead.

Defending champion Jordan Spieth managed to get going, shooting a five-under 66 on Monterey Peninsula to be tied for 23rd.

The pro-am event sees the professionals and their partners also playing a round at Monterey Peninsula before the final day's action takes place at the famous Pebble Beach public links. At -7, Hossler is two strokes clear of current World No.1 Dustin Johnson and three strokes clear of top players such as Jon Rahm and Rory McIlroy. After all, he still owns the course record at ruthless Spyglass Hill - a 62, no less - and with four titles has won it more than anyone not named Sam Snead or Mark O'Meara.

He attempted a very long putt from the fringe, nearly sinking it for an eagle and putting it just six feet past the cup.

He was one-under for the tournament, with work to do on Saturday to make the 54-hole cut.

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