Mcilroy gave himself the best possible start at Bay Hill after carding a six under par first round. The former 2018 champion began his round on the back nine with steady birdies on 14 and 17.
Despite missing several birdie chances he was steadily poised at two under before a sloppy bogey on 18 angered Mcilroy. A poor chip from the side of the green resulted in a difficult par putt the Irishman failed to convert.
As he then tapped in for bogey in a split second of rage, he threw his ball immediately into the lake. This anger appeared to spur Mcilroy on as he went onto his front nine making five birdies consecutively.
Speaking after the round, carding a 66, Mcilroy was delighted with the round.
“It could’ve been the best round of golf I’ve played this year.”
He then went onto say that after seeing Tiger win the tournament eight times it served as inspiration for the round’s strategy.
“I’ve watched Tiger enough here over the years, and the way he played this course was, he played it very conservatively.
He took care of the par 5s, and that was usually good enough to get the job done.
So sort of take a little bit of a leaf out of his book.”
Mixed day for the Irish
Meanwhile, the rest of the Irish contingent of Harrington, Lowry, and McDowell had mixed rounds. Harrington was the best of the three carding a first round two under par sitting in thirteenth place.
Lowry had a rough opening day shooting a disappointing three over par in a tie for eighty eighth. While McDowell then had one of the worst rounds of day one, carding a seven over par, now lying one hundred and eighteenth.
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