Golf

Rory McIlroy content after opening round

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Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy was content after shooting an opening round of 66 at the Open Championship.

McIlroy managed a bogey-free 18 holes and is currently the clubhouse leader with many players still on the course.

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The round represented McIlroy's second best round ever at the Open, being bettered only by his course-record 63 at St Andrew's four years ago.

However, he will be wary of his recent form which has seen him struggle on the second day after such an impressive opening one.

Impressive 

But he looked impressive at Holylake as he produced three birdies either side of the turn and as it stands, leads Matteo Mannassero by one shot.

The 25-year old was asked if his round represented a perfect one: "It sort of does, especially in the first round of an Open. I couldn't ask for anymore," McIlroy told BBC one.

"I stuck to my gameplan, focused on the par fives and tried to pick up other shots. For the most part my ball was under control and I'm very happy.

"I'm playing well, swinging the club really nicely, holed some nice putts and I'll try to continue to do that and hopefully have another solid round tomorrow. I won't approach it differently."

"It's another great start and, yeah, looking forward to getting back out there tomorrow."

Advantage 

McIlroy knew that beginning his round earlier in the day was an advantage and made the most of the good conditions.

"We had perfect scoring conditions out there this morning. There wasn't much wind early on and there were plenty of opportunities to make birdies and I was able to take a few of them."

But McIlroy knows that he must follow up his decent start with an equally good second round. He shot a course record during day one of the Scottish Open only to card a 78 on day two.

Earlier in the season at the Memorial he got off to a great start scoring a 63 but could a remarkable 15 shot swing on day two saw him score a 78. He only suffered a seven-shot swing during another US Tour event this season.

But it hasn't just been this year that the second round has haunting McIlroy. There was the aforementioned 63 on the opening day of this tournament but he then somehow struggled to a second round of 80.

He realises that the expectations after producing such a promising first round is something that affects him going into Friday but he's aiming to play exactly the same as he did today.

"Whenever I go out and play on Thursdays there's not really many expectations. You're going out here and you're trying to find a rhythm and you're just trying to play your way into the round.

"When you go back out on Friday after a good score you know what you can do, so you're going out with some expectations compared to Thursday.

"I think I've just got to approach it like that, and start off trying to hit solid shots the first few holes and play my way into the round, just like I did today."

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Topics:
Golf
The Open
Rory McIlroy

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