Memorial Tournament: Rory McIlroy takes three-shot lead after brilliant first round
Last Updated: 30/05/14 10:03am
Rory McIlroy: Holds three shot lead despite a double-bogey at the 14th hole
Rory McIlroy continued his good run of form with a blistering round of 63 on the opening day of the Memorial Tournament.
The Northern Irishman, who won the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth on Sunday, finished three shots ahead of the field in Dublin, Ohio on Thursday.
He finished the day on nine-under-par despite carding a double-bogey six at the 14th hole.
(US unless stated)
-9 R McIlory (NIrl)
-6 C Kirk
-6 P Casey (Eng)
-6 B Watson
-5 JB Holmes
-5 K Bradley
-5 M Thompson
Click here for collated scores
England’s Paul Casey was best of the rest along with Americans Chris Kirk and Bubba Watson, all three signing for opening rounds of 66. Masters champion Watson might well have finished on eight under but dropped shots on 16 and 17.
Keegan Bradley, JB Holmes and Michael Thompson were next up in a share of fifth position, one shot behind the second-placed trio on five under.
But the undoubted star of the day was McIlroy, who appeared to suffer a knee injury on the seventh hole which affected him for the rest of the round.
He was already in a good position after reaching the turn on four under but the best was yet to come as he eagled both par fives on the back nine and also birdied three other holes.
The lone blemish was the two dropped shots at the 14th, without which his scorecard would have been even more spectacular.
After the round McIlroy, who putted just 22 times over the 18 holes, said he hopes the knee problem will clear up with some treatment on Thursday evening.
“I felt it on my second shot on seven today. I think my foot might have just got stuck in the ground a little bit and tweaked my knee,” he told the Golf Channel.
“I’m going to go and get some treatment done now and have a physio look at it.
“It’s painful right after I hit shots and then I walked it off and it would be OK, but then it would be painful again (after the next shot).
“With a little bit of ice and some treatment, hopefully it will be alright for tomorrow.”