Friday, March 18, 2016

Rory McIlroy felt he played better than his score (75) suggested on day one at Bay Hill

Rory McIlroy described his opening 75 as a "big surprise" as he prepared for a battle to make the halfway cut at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
McIlroy got off to a poor start when he pulled his first tee shot out of bounds and ran up a double-bogey six, and he put three balls into the water at Bay Hill while making only two birdies on the first day.
The world No 3 was looking to bounce back from a disappointing final-round 74 at the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral, where he led by four shots before being overtaken by the in-form Adam Scott down the stretch.

But his score at Bay Hill could have been far worse had he not scrambled pars after finding water at both the third and 16th holes, although he could not avoid another double-bogey six at the eighth when he pulled his second from a fairway bunker into the lake.

"I felt like I was hitting it aggressively, making good swings in my short game and putting. It was a big surprise out there today to be fair," McIlroy told the PGA Tour.
The 26-year-old was clearly rattled by his mistake at the first, and he added: "It's tough. With the way the wind blows and the tee was up a little bit, the hole definitely didn't play like that in the pro-am - I was playing it a lot different and hitting a different club off the tee.
"But you make double that's fine, it's 71 holes left in the golf tournament. You try to regroup and I made a really good par on three, but I never really got into the rhythm or the grind at all. 

McIlroy got off to a double-bogey start after pulling his first tee shot out of bounds
McIlroy got off to a double-bogey start after pulling his first tee shot out of bounds
"I kept missing shots left and I tried to correct it too much and then I started missing them right. I need to go on to the range and work on it a little bit and see if I can figure it out.
"I felt like I grinded okay out there and I scrambled well. I had some good things on the back-nine, and it probably could have been a few worse.
"But I'll get some good work done on the range and come out tomorrow and play a good round of golf to get myself into the red numbers, at least I'll be here for the weekend if I can make a charge."

McIlroy's worst shot of the round came at the par-five 16th, where his ambitious second from the left rough did not come remotely close to making the carry over the water.
Explaining his decision to go for the green in two, he added: "I only had 212 yards to the front of the green. I'm starting it at the right hand bunker, 20-25 yards right of the pin, and if it turns it turns, great. If it doesn't I'll be in the front bunker and have a lot of room to work for my up and down for birdie.
"The thing started on a good line, but it turned so much - obviously! I hit four-iron, but I got so much under it and went with the slope. I haven't hit a shot like that in a long time."
McIlroy started Friday's second round in a tie for 39th place. Martin Laird had a 69. Jason Day leads with a six-under 66. 
Paul Casey is in the mix with a sub-70 score





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