McIlroy off to solid start in Akron

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Rory McIlroy made a solid start at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in Akron on Thursday as his quest toagain become golf’s top ranked golfer continues.

A good tournament could see the 25-year-old overtake Adam Scott at the top and when considering the form he was in when he won his third major at Royal Liverpool, the Northern Irishman will be fancying his chances.

McIlroy played his opening 10 holes in two under par at Firestone Country Club as he opened with three pars (starting from the 10th) while collecting his first birdie on the 13th.

He produced more magic towards the turn as holed from twice the distance on the 17th to reach the turn in 33.

He then nearly chipped in for another birdie on the first, but would finish his first round on two-under-par – three off the clubhouse lead set by American Ryan Moore and South Africa’s Charl Schwartzel.

I felt like I played really solid,” McIlroy said after his round.

“I drove the ball for the most part well. 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.”

Moore is currently 14th in the US Ryder Cup points standings, with the top nine after next week’s US PGA Championship sealing a place on Tom Watson’s team for Gleneagles in September.

Compatriot Patrick Reed is just outside the automatic places in 10th but boosted his chances of securing a debut in the event with an opening 67 marred by two bogeys in the last six holes.

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