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Dublin: 8°C Sunday 11 April 2021
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Start as you mean to go on! McIlroy embarks on birdie blitz during opening round of 2017

Rory is up and running for the year.

McIlroy opened his season in South Africa this morning.
McIlroy opened his season in South Africa this morning.
Image: Kamran Jebreili

RORY MCILROY SHOWED no sign of rustiness as he kick-started his year with seven birdies to lie one shot off the lead at the BMW South African Open in Gauteng.

The 27-year-old signed for a five-under par opening round of 67 on Thursday and sits in a tie for second behind early leader Trevor Fisher Junior.

Having declared his intentions to get 2017 off to a flying start this week, McIlroy did just that at Glendower GC and the four-time Major winner was pleased with his first day’s work.

“I started off with a solid round of pars and had a nice run of birdies on the back nine,” he said afterwards.

“I gave myself plenty of chances, and probably missed a few, but I played well. On the back nine I scrambled a good bit to salvage a few holes, but it was a good solid round of golf.

“A good opening round.”

A birdie four on the second set the ball rolling but McIlroy dropped shots on four and five before repairing the damage with two more birdies before the turn.

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Four straight pars on the back nine provided the platform for a late flurry as birdies on 14, 15, 16 and 17 propelled McIlroy towards the top of the leaderboard.

Darren Clarke is a little further down on two-under par.

Posted by on Sunday, 11 April 2021

Meanwhile, Seamus Power gets his 2017 season underway later tonight at the Sony Hawaii Open on the PGA Tour.

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