GOLF: Rory McIlroy one shot off the lead at PGA Championship

Rory McIlroy finished one shot off the lead following his opening round at the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth.

Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy reacts during day one of the 2018 BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth Golf Club, Surrey. Adam Davy/PA Wire.
Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy reacts during day one of the 2018 BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth Golf Club, Surrey. Adam Davy/PA Wire.

South Africans Dean Burmester and Darren Fichardt took the clubhouse lead as both finished on six under.

Former champion McIlroy was among the afternoon wave and was also within striking distance of the leaders thanks to four birdies and two bogeys in his first 11 holes.

McIlroy, who has missed the cut in half of his appearances at Wentworth, picked up further shots on the 12th, 14th and 16th, but was unable to take advantage of the two closing par fives.

However, an opening 67 was still his best first round score in the event.

“It was nice to get off to a good start,” said the four-time major winner.

“I gave myself plenty of chances, drove it well and hit my irons a lot better.”

Meanwhile, former Open champion Darren Clarke pulled out of the tournament an hour before he was due to tee off and was replaced by Charlie Ford. Clarke, 49, tweeted to say he picked up an injury in Wednesday’s pro-am.