Rory McIlroy opens up two-shot lead at WGC-Mexico Championship
Rory McIlroy continued his impressive run of form to the leaderboard after the opening round of this WGC-Mexico Championship.
The world No 1, who has posted top-five ends in his last five global starts, birdied three of his last four holes start a direct at Club de Golf Chapultepec up and to place a 65.
Justin Thomas and Bubba Watson are McIlroy challengers with Louis Oosthuizen three back in tied-fourth alongside Corey Conners and Billy Horschel and Bryson DeChambeau, after matching 67s.
Beginning on the back nine, McIlroy moved by holing a 16-foot eagle before getting down and up from off both the 12th and 14th greens to make six-footers to save par.
McIlroy pinpointed a 12-foot putt from the knee to regain the edge that was outright to miss from five feet on his way into bogeying the fourth and submitted a two-putt birdie to reaching the turn.
The world no 1 recovered from a wayward strategy into the par-five first to pitch to 25 ft and place an improbable birdie, before adhering to a 15-foot profit in the eighth by holing a 10-footer on his final pit to catch the first-round lead for the second year running.
Watson had set the early clubhouse target after finding five birdies in an opening-round 67, with his only blemish coming up later he found water from the seventh tee, with Thomas additionally on four under after overlooking a 10-foot birdie chance at the last to get inside one of McIlroy.
Tyrrell Hatton marked his return from wrist surgery using a two-under 69 to join Lee Westwood, Paul Casey – who eagled the driveable first – and – Patrick Reed from the team four off the pace, with Tommy Fleetwood a further stroke back after recovering from bogeying two of the first five holes.
While defending champion Dustin Johnson slipped 11 strokes off the pace after having a five-over 76 fleetwood’s playing spouse Gary Woodland is on one beneath.
Watch the WGC-Mexico Championship live on Sky Sports. Live policy continues from 5pm on Sky Sports Golf on Friday.