Mcilroy races to lead in Abu Dhabi 

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Mcilroy races to lead in Abu Dhabi: Mcilroy shot a personal best in round 1 in Abu Dhabi to take sole lead at the first Rolex Series event

At the end of the first round at the Abu Dhabi Championship, Irelands Rory Mcilroy sits top of the leaderboard. The man from Holywood shot a personal best at the Championship of 64 to leave him on -7 under par.

England’s Tyrell Hatton sits just one shot behind him on -6 under after shooting a 65. The 31 year old had a blistering start of -4 under through his opening nine holes. Although Mcilroy wasn’t hitting his approach shots close, his putter appeared red hot holing from every distance.

In his post round interview, the Irishman knew he could break his course record with another -4 under on the back nine. 

“I knew that 65 was the best I’ve shot here, and I’ve shot it a few times.”

“So I was like, let’s try to go at least one better and shoot another four on the back nine, and I was able to do that.”

And he did just that. Mcilroy went on to birdie holes 10,12,15, and 18 to go around -4 under. It possibly could have been a round of 63 had a small birdie putt on 16 not lipped out.

The World number 4 believes his excellent form has come from sound advice and hard work over Christmas. Now with restrictions eased, the World number four can work in person again with swing coach Micheal Bannon.

This, accompanied with on the range advice from Butch Harmon, has helped immensely, according to Mcilroy. 

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