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Lowry best of the Irish at Doral
06 Mar 2015 10:10
Shane Lowry proved best of the Irish trio as the Offaly man posted a one-under-par opening round at in the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral.
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Lowry started on the back nine with a birdie to open before moving over par with consecutive bogeys on the 13th and 14th (his 4th & 5th) holes.
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The former Irish Open winner got back to level par on the first hole of his back nine, before an excellent eagle on his penultimate hole put him on two under going down his 18th.
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But another bogey would arrive on his final hole, the ninth, and Lowry would have to settle for a 71 to sit nine shots off leader JB Holmes who took a four-shot lead into the second round after posting a ten-under 62.
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World number one Rory McIlroy endured a rollercoaster opening round, carding three birdies and an eagle in the space of five holes on his back nine, but also recorded four bogeys and a double bogey to return a one-over-par 73.
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McIlroy described missing the cut in last week's Honda Classic as a useful "kick up the backside" ahead of his bid to complete the career grand slam by winning the Masters at Augusta next month.
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But it did not appear to have had the desired effect as the Open champion struggled to four over par after nine holes of his opening round on the "Blue Monster" to lie joint 69th in the elite 74-man field.
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Starting on the back nine, McIlroy failed to birdie the par-five 10th and then bogeyed the 11th after finding a greenside bunker with his approach and missing from 12 feet for par.
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The 25-year-old also failed to get up and down from sand on the 17th before a costly double bogey on the 18th, where he found the middle of the fairway with a superb drive but then pulled his second shot into the water left of the green.
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McIlroy finally recorded his first birdie of the day on the par-three fourth, holing from 10 feet to get back to three over par, and made it two in a row from close range on the next.
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A wayward approach to the next finished on the edge of a greenside bunker and led to another bogey, before McIlroy holed from 18 feet for birdie on the seventh and 22 feet for eagle on the par-five eighth after a superb long-iron approach.
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Getting back to level par was an impressive achievement in the windy conditions but McIlroy pulled his tee shot to the ninth left of the green and chipped his second into a bunker, eventually doing well to hole from 12 feet for a closing bogey.
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Graeme McDowell joins McIlroy on one over par after an opening round, which included four birdies but they were cancelled out by three bogeys and a double bogey on the par three ninth where he found the water.
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