Rory McIlroy, who seemed set for an early departure from the US PGA Championship, is still there at mid-way with an outside chance of his title after a brilliant session when the sun started to shine at New York’s Oak Hill Country Club.

After covering the first 11 holes of his second round on Friday on four-over par in heavy rain McIlroy seemed set for another major disappointment to add to several this year.

But then the rain stopped, and the 24-year-old Northern Ireland man, down to No. 3 in the World after last year being No. 1, started a blistering recovery.

He produced four birdies in the closing 11 seven holes to sign for a 71, reaching the midway stage on 140, level par.

He said: “I was letting the round get away from me somewhat. It was nice to sort of redeem the round a little bit and keep myself in the tournament," remarked McIlroy after producing four birdies in his closing seven holes to sign for a 71, reaching the midway stage on 140, level par.

McIlroy added: “I’m pretty happy about my day. It makes me feel good because maybe in the middle of the season or a couple of months ago, I wouldn’t have been standing up here. I’d have been going home.

“It’s good to be able to do that, to fight back, and it makes me feel good about myself going into the weekend.All of a sudden, I’m back in the tournament. Make a fast start tomorrow and I’m right there.”

Graeme McDowell is best of the Irish on one under. Shane Lowry is on 141, plus 1, and is one shot clear of Darren Clarke who also made it through to the weekend on two over.

Padraig Harrington missed the three-over cut on seven over, as did fellow Dubliner Paul McGinley who finished the tournament on 12 over par.