Jeff Maggert and John Merrick were delighted to get
off to a good start as first-round co-leaders of the FedEx St. Jude
Classic. Rory McIlroy was happy to get back on track. Maggert and
Merrick carded 4-under 66s while McIlroy was two shots back after
an opening 68 on Thursday at TPC Southwind. “I felt like that
was about the best round of golf I played in awhile,” said
McIlroy, who has missed three cuts in his past three events.
“It could have been a lot better." McIlroy twice saved par by
making putts outside of 8 feet. He also rolled in a 16-1/2 foot
birdie putt and another one from just inside 10 feet. After missing
the cut at the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide
Insurance last week, McIlroy continued to spend time working on his
swing plane. He said that he saw some progress on Thursday.
“Definitely. I’m getting the club in a better
position,” said McIlroy, who will defend his U.S. Open title
next week at The Olympic Club in San Francisco. “From there
you have a little bit of freedom. You’re not trying to
protect against a bad shot. You’re trying to hit the shot you
can see. Yeah. I still feel like it’s improving but
it’s getting (better).” Arjun Atwal, Jeff Overton, J.J.
Henry and rookie Seung-Yul Noh were one shot back at 67. U.S. Ryder
Cup captain Davis Love III, Robert Allenby, McIlroy, Padraig
Harrington, Chad Campbell, Ken Duke, Y.E. Yang, John Daly, Lee
Janzen, J.J. Killeen and Troy Kelly all shot 68s.