Rory McIlroy shares his delight at lowest first round in a major for 11 YEARS at the US PGA but warns he will not ‘get carried away’ as his opening 65 ‘won’t mean anything unless he keeps it going’
- Rory McIlroy shot 65 to take an early one-shot lead in the US PGA Championship
- It was the Northern Irishman’s lowest opening round in a major for 11 years
- Playing partner Tiger Woods struggled as he could only manage a 74 on day one
- Woods admitted he was still struggling with his right leg following his car crash
Rory McIlroy was buoyant after shooting 65 to take the early lead in the US PGA Championship at Southern Hills and ‘get off to a good start in a major for a change’.
The Northern Irishman ended his run of poor first rounds in the Grand Slam events with a wonderful effort that he enthused was ‘close to the complete package’.
McIlroy added: ‘It would have been complete but for a couple of bogeys late on but I can’t complain. I hit the ball so well for most of the day.’
Rory McIlroy was buoyant after shooting 65 to take the early lead in the US PGA Championship
It was McIlroy’s lowest opening round in a major for 11 years, when he began with a 65 in the US Open and went on to complete a runaway victory.
‘It’s important now not to get carried away,’ he cautioned.
‘I hit the ball great, as I have been doing for a while now. I knew I could build on my final-round 64 at the Masters and I’ve done that.
‘But it won’t mean anything unless I can keep it going. I’ll need to play as well for the next three days if I am going to have a chance to win.’
Northern Irishman shot 65 at Southern Hills – his lowest opening round in a major for 11 years
McIlroy held a one-shot lead among the morning wave over Americans Will Zalatoris and Tom Hoge.
By stark contrast, playing partner Tiger Woods could only manage a 74 and admitted he is struggling with the right leg that was almost amputated following his horrific car accident in Los Angeles in February last year.
‘My leg is fine until I play golf,’ revealed the 46-year-old. ‘I just can’t load weight on to it. That hurts, pressing off it hurts, and walking and twisting hurts.
‘Consequently, I hit a lot of bad iron shots and I left myself in some bad spots where it was difficult to save par. I’ve felt better emotionally, too.
McIlroy’s playing partner Tiger Woods (third left) could only manage a 74 on day one
‘It made for a frustrating day. Now it’s a case of having a few ice baths this afternoon to get the inflammation down so I can play in the second round.’
Jordan Spieth, the third member of the illustrious group, was also downcast after a 72 left him well off the pace in his bid to become just the sixth golfer to complete the career Grand Slam.
‘Rory played great but I made far too many mistakes to have any chance of scoring as well as him,’ said the Texan.