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Dublin: 10°C Thursday 15 April 2021
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'I thought it was going to feel more different': Rory reacts as the PGA tour returns

McIlroy sits five shots off the early leaders at the Charles Schwab Challenge in Texas.

McIlroy shot three birdies and a bogey on Thursday.
McIlroy shot three birdies and a bogey on Thursday.
Image: SIPA USA/PA Images

WORLD NUMBER ONE Rory McIlroy described his first round of tournament golf since the Covid-19 outbreak as “uneventful” as the Charles Schwab Challenge teed off on Thursday.

McIlroy sits five shots off the early leaders after opening with a two-under par 68 in Texas.

The PGA Tour’s first tournament following a 91-day coronavirus shutdown is being played without spectators and with strict new health and safety measures in place.

“It felt good to be back,” McIlroy said. “I thought it was going to feel more different than it was.

“Like it’s a little strange not having anyone around, but at the same time we are so concentrated on what we’re doing and trying to shoot good scores and play good golf.

“Me personally, once I got into it, I didn’t feel like it was much different at all.”

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McIlroy, who tees off at 1.56pm on Friday for his second round, is hoping to improve on Thursday’s missed opportunities and move up the leaderboard.

“I made three birdies and one bogey. The one bogey on the 6th hole, I three-putted from like 30 feet.

“It was one of those days. I put myself in position to shoot a low score, I just didn’t capitalise on how I hit it off the tee.

“My distance control on my wedges was a little off, and then the putting right there got a little difficult at the end of the day. Greens were sort of slow, and they got pretty bumpy at the end. Hopefully some better greens [on Friday] and hopefully shoot a lower score.”

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Niall Kelly

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