Rory McIlroy declared himself ‘pleased’ after carding a course record 64 at Royal Aberdeen in today’s opening round of the Scottish Open.
The 25-year-old former world No.1 carded eight birdies and just one bogey in bright but blustery conditions on the Balgownie Links. That left him one clear of Swede Kristoffer Broberg who shot a 65 after going out in the opening group.
“It’s a great start,” acknowledged McIlroy. “Any time you start a tournament like that, you have to be very pleased and I’ve given myself something to build on.”
McIlroy, who incredibly drove the green at the 436-yard, par-4 13th, said that staying in control of his game had been central to his record round.
“I was really pleased with how I controlled my ball flight,” said the two-time major winner after making his first appearance in the Scottish Open since 2010. “Regardless of what I shot, the way I played was the most pleasing thing for me today. This is the type of golf I need to be playing.”
McIlroy also insisted that Royal Aberdeen was posing more of a challenge than his scorecard suggested.
“It’s a tough golf course,” said McIlroy. “On the front nine, I felt I was having to hang on a little bit, with the way the wind was. So, to shoot three-under on the way out was a really good effort.
“I’ve been playing well for a while and having been getting off to a lot of good starts." - Rory McIlroy
“If there was one part of my round that disappointed me, it was that I played the par-5s in one-under – but I’m not sure you can be too disappointed with a 64.”
McIlroy had six birdies in seven holes from the eighth, and also picked up shots at the second and fifth, with a solitary bogey coming at the par-4 fourth.
As pleased as he is with his start, however, he is mindful that his work this week is only a quarter done.
“I’ve been playing well for a while and having been getting off to a lot of good starts,” he acknowledged. “The problem has been, though, that I’ve tended to fall away. I’m hoping that doesn’t happen this week.”
A good performance this week would also set Rory McIlroy up well for an assault on the Open Championship at Hoylake, which gets underway in just seven days’ time.
He added: “Phil proved last year that you can win this event and then the Open the following week and, obviously, I’d love to emulate that but there’s a lot of golf to play between now and then.”
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