McIlroy two ahead in Mexico despite short misses at finish

05 March, 2017, 00:28 | Author: Douglas Reid
  • Rory McIlroy

He finished the opening round at Chapultepec Golf Club one shot out of a six-way tie for the lead.

Also factor in the stomach issues this week, which he tried to remedy with 14 hours of sleep, and McIlroy is showing some serious mental toughness.

"I just felt I was doing what was respectful, and the president of the United States phones you up and wants to play golf with you, I wasn't going to say no".

World number three McIlroy, 27, is playing his first tournament after seven weeks out with a rib injury.

Westwood and Walker each made it to 6 under until two bogeys over their final few holes.

Fortunately for Mickelson, his brother Tim had been alerted to the problem and was on hand to take over on the bag, with the pair combining for a 68 containing four birdies and a solitary bogey.

Playing in his first PGA Tour event since October, McIlroy is reminding the world that he belongs in the discussion of the best players in the world.

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And make no mistake about it, McIlroy isn't just here to mess around, saying, "I wasn't just trying to get through the round today. Six of those seven were inside five feet". He came up just short of the green on the par-5 15th, setting up a simple up-and-down for another birdie to seize control.

A double bogey at 10 was followed by birdie at 11 then back to back bogeys at 12 and 13.

Yet McIlroy has toughed it out and ridden his luck and going into the weekend has a very realistic chance of limiting Dustin Johnson's stay at the top of the rankings to just two weeks. Either way, the weekend should produce more exciting golf at the WGC-Mexico Championship.

"I think he was happier to talk golf than anything else that he has to do these days", McIlroy said, adding that he understood the criticism about being associated with Trump.

Sullivan, who had holed his approach to the ninth for an eagle two before carding birdies on the 11th, 15th and 16th, dropped his only shot of the day on the 18th before signing for a superb 65, the lowest score of the week so far.

However, it was the sublime expertise of Jordan Spieth on the turf that garnered the spotlight, as the American golfer hit "shot of the day" during round two on Friday.

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