Rory McIlroy found the thin air of Mexico City to his liking as he enjoyed a solid start on his return to competitive action in the WGC-Mexico Championship.
McIlroy has played just once in 2017 due to a rib injury which saw him push through the pain barrier before losing to Graeme Storm in a play-off for the South African Open in January.
The 27-year-old still arrived at Chapultepec Golf Club knowing that he could reclaim top spot in the world rankings for the first time since August 2015 by winning his third World Golf Championship title, as long as current number one Dustin Johnson finished joint fourth or worse.
McIlroy signed for a three-under-par 68, with Westwood dropping back to five under after three-putting the fifth.
“The rib is fine, it’s great actually.
“I probably could have played the Honda (Classic) last week but I wasn’t going to know how my body was going to react playing four days in a row. I’m taking next week off to see how everything reacts.”