Rory McIlroy is four shots off the pace after round one of the FedEx St. Jude classic at TPC Southwind.
The world number two shot a three-under par 67 which included an eagle to sit in a tie for 15th place, four shots off Jordan Spieth’s lead.
McIlroy bogeyed the 11th, his second hole of the day but responded with a birdie on 15. After getting a lucky break off the tee on the par 5 16th, he took full advantage.
After his ball hit a tree and bounced back into the fairway, McIlroy hit a towering 6 iron to a foot to set up an eagle.
“It was a perfect number for me”, McIlroy said. I probably hit it maybe five yards right of where I was looking. I was trying to go a little left of the pin and sort of hit it on line. But great shot, good number, and as I said, that sort of got me going”.
Birdies on two and six followed on his back nine, before two bogeys in a row on seven and eight dropped the Northern Irishman to two-under-par, but McIlroy recovered well to birdie the 9th, his last hole of the day.
McIlroy, armed with a new putter, struggled on the greens again, missing four putts inside seven feet and after his round he said the putter would get another chance tomorrow.
“I’ll give the garage putter one more day and see how we go. Fax has already sent me the putt that I hit at the last, and it was a really good putt from down the line. Ball rolled end over end. It was a good stroke”, he said.
“I think for me it’s just the reads more than anything else. If I can just sort of get my reads a little bit better — I feel like I’m stroking it well and I’m starting the ball on line”
McIlroy hit 11 of 14 fairways in round one and called it one of his best driving rounds ever and said he was frustrated with the score he posted.
“I don’t know if I can remember a round where I’ve driven it that well, at least in recent memory. I drove it really well today and gave myself so many looks from the fairway”, Mcilroy told the media
“Walking off the course disappointed with three-under. I felt on another day when I had been on song a little bit more, especially with the putter, it could have been a 63 or a 64”.
Jordan Spieth carded a bogey free seven-under-par 63 to lead by one over Tom Kim. The four time major winner enters the week at 31st in the FedEx Cup standings. The Texan will be looking to make a big move into contention heading into the last two FedEx Cup events.
Seamus Power shot a frustrating one-over par 71 to sit in a tie for 54th and will need a good performance tomorrow to get himself back into contention.
Scottie Scheffler is tied with Mcilroy on three-under-par after an opening 67. Meanwhile it was a disappointing day for Jon Rahm who shot a three-over-par 73.
Mcilroy, Scheffler and Rahm get their second round underway at 11.51am local time, 5.51pm Irish time. Seamus Power gets his second round underway at 11.03am local time, 5.03pm Irish time.