RORY McILROY: Bogey-free start to Bridgestone Invitational

Rory McIlroy. Pic by INPHO.
Rory McIlroy. Pic by INPHO.

Rory McIlroy opened his WGC-Bridgestone Invitational title bid with a bogey-free 65.

The Akron event featured McIlroy part of a five-way tie on five under following the first round.

At four under par, Tiger Woods was three shots off the clubhouse lead held by fellow American Kyle Stanley, with Patrick Cantlay on six under.

“Yeah, it was good,” McIlroy told Sky Sports after a bogey-free 65. “I mean honestly we couldn’t have got it easier this morning, no wind, very soft - you had to hit very poor shots to get it off line or to miss greens.

“Hopefully it firms up a little bit for the rest of the week but it was a day where you needed to take advantage of the conditions and I felt like I did that pretty well.

“I’m starting to drive the ball really well and there are a few tee shots out here if you can carry it over 300 yards it’s a big advantage on the rest of the field.

“I just feel like this week is an ideal time to work on a few things [ahead of next week’s US PGA Championship].

“It’s a great range, you get four rounds and sort of have a free run at trying things out.

“I felt I brought some of the stuff from the range onto the golf course and just have to work on it as the week goes on.”

Woods made qualifying for the event one of his main goals of the season as the tournament moves from Akron to Memphis next year.

“It’s a place where I’ve done it all different ways,” Woods told Sky Sports. “I’ve been around this property for over 20 years and it was nice to see some of the people I’ve known for years walking a few holes.”