McIlroy pleased with flying start
Rory McIlroy opened with a superb course-record 64 in the first round of the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open on Thursday.
McIlroy’s sparkling seven-under-par round featured eight birdies and just a single bogey, and was good enough for a one-shot lead over Swede Kristoffer Broberg and Argentina’s Ricardo Gonzales, who at 304 and 350 in the world rankings respectively surprised with their opening rounds.
A win this week would set McIlroy up perfectly for next week’s Open Championship, and the Northern Irishman admitted he was feeling good about his game.
Not only did he use the wind to his advantage to drive the green on the downhill 436-yard par-four 13th, his iron play throughout the round was superbly controlled.
“Everything was pretty much on. I controlled my ball flight really well which is the key to me playing well in these conditions and on these courses.
“I’ve been working the last 10 days on keeping the ball down, hitting easy shots and taking spin off it and I went out there today and really trusted what I practised.”
On his drive at the 13th, McIlroy said: “I’m driving the ball really well and I feel if I can get driver in my hand and have an advantage on the field I should do it.
“Going out this morning in these conditions I thought anything in the 60s would be a good score so to shoot something better than that is pleasing.
“I told Poulter it was a 3-wood but it was a driver. He was on the green trying to flex his muscles.”
McIlroy has frequently started superbly in 2014, however, only to fall off in later rounds, so he knows the job is far from done.
“I’ve got off to a lot of good starts and tended to fall away. Hopefully that won’t be the case this week,” he added.
“It’s more mental than anything but I am really comfortable with my game at the minute.”
Behind the surprise duo in second place, McIlroy’s countryman Michael Hoey lies alone in fourth on five under, while two Scots and two Englishmen – Marc Warren and David Drysdale, and Luke Donald and Richard Bland – follow on four under.
Defending champion Phil Mickelson opened with a 68 to lie on three under and was satisfied with his start.
“The conditions were tough and I was surprised to see some of those low scores,” he said. “But I feel like I played well and had a good putting day until the last. It’s a good first day.”
What you need to know about the new Wilson Dynapower forged irons
Find out if the new Wilson Dynapower forged irons are for you.
WATCH: Golf course maintenance crew lose control of cart and drive it off bridge
Out of control maintenance men can be a curse.
PING refresh PLD Milled putters – and the standards are as high as ever
There is nothing about the 2024 PING PLD Milled putters that is really surprising but the range lives up to the name.
Tiger Woods makes rare wood change in adjusted 2024 bag
Tiger Woods makes a big change.
11 of Texas’ best exclusive golf courses that you’ll probably never play
Texas has a fine selection of private golf courses worth adding to your bucket list.
WATCH: Wife makes no attempt to hide laugher watching husband mishit golf shot
If you can’t laugh at yourself on the golf course bring your wife along.
WATCH: Golfer struggles to get down the green in treacherous wind and rain
What does it take to get you off the golf course?
The 7 best balls for low swing speed golfers to get more distance
Get more distance with these balls.
WATCH: Amateur golfer suffers pain of double-hit attempting chip for bogey
Double-hits are no longer punished the same way as before.
Why Bandon Dunes is a must visit golfing mecca in Oregon
Bandon Dunes is a special golf resort.