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McIlroy makes steady start in Akron
01 Aug 2014 08:08
Newly crowned Open champion Rory McIlroy had to settle for an opening 69 on his return to action in the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in Akron this evening.
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Playing his first event since claiming his third major title at Royal Liverpool, McIlroy played his opening 11 holes in three under par at Firestone Country Club.
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However, the 25-year-old then three-putted the third hole - his 12th - and ran up a double-bogey six on the eighth after finding a greenside bunker with his approach and taking four more shots to get down.
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But McIlroy finished in style with a brilliant approach to the ninth to set up a birdie from just two feet to finish one under par, four shots off the clubhouse lead shared by American Ryan Moore and South African Charl Schwartzel.
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"I felt like I played really solid," McIlroy told reporters after his round. "I drove the ball for the most part well.
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"I got myself into trouble a couple of times which led to a bogey and a double bogey on my back nine but apart from that I felt I played really solid golf without really doing anything."
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McIlroy has taken the Claret Jug to Akron after enjoying a couple of days celebrating with it following his Open triumph, but was quick to get back to work with plenty still to play for this season.
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"I didn't want any sort of let down and not just these two weeks, but basically the rest of the season because I've got myself now in a good position in the FedEx Cup, a good position in the world rankings, we've got a major left this year, there's a lot of golf still left to play," added McIlroy, who could reclaim the world number one spot from Adam Scott with his first World Golf Championship victory on Sunday.
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"It's great to win a major, great to win the Open Championship but I just want to keep going forward and I'll have plenty of time in December and January to reflect on it and enjoy what I've achieved this year. For now I want to keep going and try to have some more success on the course."
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