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Two-time PGA Championship Champion Rory McIlroy kicked off his tournament in style Thursday morning by taking the championship lead with Tour 65 (-5) at Southern Hills CC in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
The Northern Irish sent their shots into the trees and down the driveways, setting the table for seven sparrows. He played 65 (-5) to give himself a one-hit lead at the top of the standings.
That was what McIlroy needed, as he was trying to end nearly eight years of drought without winning a major. It was his best start since scoring 66 in the PGA Championship in Valhalla in 2014, when he won the last four majors of his career.
“I think when your game feels like this, it’s just about getting out there, sticking to your game plan, making shots as often as you can and somehow staying in your little world,” McIlroy said. I feel like this course allows you to be aggressive on the tees, so I took advantage of my long drives and finished my game with irons and strokes. »
Combined with Tiger Woods and Jordan Spieth, he scored a score of 31 (-4) on his first nine holes of the day thanks to a streak of four straight birds between holes 12 and 15 (McIlroy started his run on the 10th hole, Ed). McIlroy finished off a superb birdie shot on his last hole of the day, putting on a 65 (-5) card, putting him first in the standings.
“When I saw the draw last Tuesday, I was so excited. I love playing in the premium bands and with Tiger. I couldn’t wait to get out and put in a great performance in front of such a big crowd,” McIlroy said in an interview with ESPN after his tour.
“I felt very good, and the Northern Irish cheered. I got here in very good shape after performing in Augusta and Washington two weeks ago. I knew my game was there. It’s a matter of doing the different picks.”
Woods, for his part, had a rough day, marked by several small mistakes in all aspects of his game. After starting his tour with two sparrows in the first five holes, Woods stuck a poke seven to conclude his tour. The first way. He was finally given a card of 74, which puts him at +4
His co-star, Spieth, also had some problems. Having started his day well with a birdie on the third hole of the day, Spieth put three bogeys into the last four of the front nine holes, finding himself a two-stroke on par after one round.
The American seemed to lack control and often left himself in the first nine holes.
During the afternoon session, we tackled a trio of top three players in the world, Scotty Scheffler, John Ram and Colin Morikawa. Number one hit his first big shot with an eagle on the fifth hole at 665 yards. After a brutal tee shot, Scheffler recovered it with his second shot just a foot off the cut after 308 yards close. However, Schaeffler slowed down on the tough Oklahoma track to eventually finish at +1.
Hot start, then trouble for Tiger
From those who set out at the end of the day. In windy conditions, it was Justin Thomas who distinguished himself by bringing in a card 67 times.
Will Zalatoris and Tom Hoge turned 66 to find themselves behind Captain McIlroy. Matt Kochar and Abraham Anser are slightly behind, at 3 under, tied with Thomas.
Only 17 of the 78 golfers who played golf in the morning managed to get a lower-level round.
“I don’t think a big champ here has ever been under 10, so you know the scores won’t be lower,” Hogg said. If you get out of the fairways into the tall grass here, it’s hard to control the ball around the greens because it’s fast. You’re just trying to keep things simple. »
For his part, a stained John Daly collapsed at the end of the tour. While resting two-strokes below par after hole 13, he committed four bogey between holes 14-18 to return a score of 72, two-strokes on par.
Canadian Mackenzie Hughes made the start in the morning and his work day was not easy, he was the one who gave a card of 77, seven hits above par.
Xander Schauffele is part of a group of Under 2 players, along with Cameron Smith and Joaquin Neiman. Tony Finau was one of the most prominent players in golf under 1.
Canadian Mackenzie Hughes, for his part, couldn’t do better than the round of 77. Countryman Adam Hadwin is plus 3, while Corey Conners is plus 6.
Defending champion Phil Mickelson is absent, as is Bryson Deschamps, who is recovering from wrist surgery.
An approach worthy of number 1, at 308 yards!
“I’ve had a lot of bad shots”