Rory McIlroy hit just half of his greens and less
than half of his fairways in the first round. Still, the reigning
U.S. Open champ – who will defend his title next week –
shot one of the better rounds in the morning wave, a 2-under 68. "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. ... The scoring doesn't
look too good. Off to a decent start, definitely. 2-under is a
decent start. Definitely so. Lot of good signs out there." Give
credit to his putter. 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. No surprise that McIlroy was
effective from that distance – he ranks inside the top 20 on
TOUR in putting from 5-15 feet and 15-25 feet. McIlroy has also
been working on his swing plane. He saw progress on Thursday.
"Definitely. I'm getting the club in a better position," he said.
"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)." So will McIlroy snap a streak of three straight missed
cuts and stay around for the weekend? We'll see. What do you think?
Click here to replay McIlroy’s round