Rory eyes fast start in Arizona

Rory McIlroy admits he needs to be quick out of the blocks at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship if he wants to avoid an early exit.

The two-time major winner has been paired with Boo Weekley in the first round of the 64-man knockout event, and in this format you can’t afford a poor round as it is likely to mean the end of your participation.

“You have to get off to a fast start and be ready to go from the get-go,” the 24-year-old said. “You have to choose your time to be aggressive but you have to get as many birdies as you can.”

McIlroy has in recent months shown glimpses of the form that helped him to reach number one in the world in 2012 as he finished tied second in Abu Dhabi in January and shared ninth in Dubai at the start of February.

“I haven’t hit the ball as well for a long time,” he said. “It’s been a good start to the season. I have two events under my belt and had a chance to win both of them.

“I was a little disappointed with how I putted at the weekend in Dubai but have spent two days with (putting coach) Dave Stockton here and it was nice to catch up with him and have him take a look at it. He doesn’t have to tell me much, just a slight grip change.”