Rory McIlroy recovered from an early double bogey and shot a 69 in the second round

Rory McIlroy is delighted to be in a strong position to contend for the title in the final two rounds of the US Open in Brooklyn.

The 33-year-old Northern Irishman is third in the first half, one shot ahead of American Open champion Colin Morikawa, and Joel Dahmen.

And he started alongside American Aaron Wise in the third round at 20:23 GMT.

“I’ve played better golf than I’ve played in a long time,” said the four-time champion.

Last weekend’s Canadian Open winner McIlroy hasn’t won a major title since the 2014 PGA Championship.

But he set himself up in competition to add to that total of four players, putting him alongside Wise, Spanish defending champion John Ram, Americans Hayden Buckley and Beau Hausler.

“I have to go out this week with the attitude that I will try to win for the first time again,” he added.

“I have a lot of experience. Yes, I’ve won major tournaments and other major events, but just because I did that doesn’t mean I hit better golf swings or better shots.

“I am in a good place. I am very happy with where my game is and I think that is the most important thing.”

McIlroy said he was delighted to see Morikawa and Grand Slam winners Ram unite, while Masters winner Scotty Scheffler lags behind.

“You want to compete against the best to try to get the best of you,” he said.

“And seeing Colin and John and Scotty out there and whatever, that’s what major golf tournaments are about. That’s what the competition is about.

“I definitely don’t want it to be easy. I want the guys to go out and shoot the 65, so I have to go and shoot the 64.

“This competition and that is the essence of this game. I look forward to being in the mix this weekend.”

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