SAN ANTONIO - Rory McIlroy didn't anticipate an encounter with the native plant life when he signed up for the Texas Open.
Despite just such a happening on Friday, the world's No. 2 golfer matched the low round of the day with a 5-under par 67 and moved within three shots of leader Billy Horschel, continuing his last-minute preparations for next week's Masters.
McIlroy, who decided to play in the tournament late last week, had seven birdies - including his final three holes - and overcame a bogey on No. 9 after driving into the rough and catching his left shin on a nearby cactus.
The misstep dropped McIlroy to 1 under, but he rebounded with key putts on the final three holes for birdies and pulled well within reach of the leaders entering the weekend.
"It was a good way to finish," McIlroy said. "It will definitely make dinner taste a little nicer tonight and give me a couple of more hours in bed tomorrow morning."
The 23-year-old two-time major winner is three shots back of Horschel, who birdied his last two holes to post his second straight 4-under 68.
A group of three players - Daniel Summerhays, Charley Hoffman and Steven Bowditch - are two shots back at 6 under, while McIlroy is tied with six others at 5 under.
Thursday's co-leaders, Matt Bettencourt and Peter Tomasulo, each shot 1-over 73s and fell four shots off the lead. Bettencourt went as low as 8 under in the surprisingly calm Texas weather before falling back after a stretch of three bogeys in four holes once the wind picked up ever so slightly.
Horschel jumped from 60th to 24th on the money list after a second-place finish at last week's Houston Open.
Park leads Nabisco with 7 under
RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. - Inbee Park took the second-round lead Friday in the Kraft Nabisco Championship, making three birdies in a row early on the back nine and rebounding from a wind-blown bogey with four straight pars.
Finishing in gusty conditions on another hot afternoon at Mission Hills, the 24-year-old South Korean player shot a 5-under 67 to reach 7 under.
"Obviously, putted really good out there, especially on the back nine," Park said.
"The wind picked up, so it was tough out there on the back nine. Last four holes, I made all pars. I'm really happy with that."
American Lizette Salas was a stroke back after a 68, and Sweden's Carolina Hedwall and Italy's Giulia Sergas followed at 5 under. Hedwall shot 68, and Sergas had a 69.
Park is seeking her second major title after winning the 2008 U.S. Women's Open Championship.