Rory McIlroy got his 2018 campaign off to a tonic start with a bogey-free 69 on day one of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship.
The Northern Irishman shot a solid three-under in the first eight holes, and then went on to par the next 10 holes to finish provisionally in a tie for fourth, three shots behind leader Tommy Fleetwood of England.
“(It’s my) first competitive round in over a hundred days, so it’s a little bit different. But I did well. I stayed patient,” said McIlroy.
“I gave myself loads of chances and started the day with 11 straight pars, so I was trying to stay as patient as possible, so it was nice to birdie three of the last seven there and get in under 70.”
Despite his flawless round, the 28-year-old insists there were chances go lower but remains upbeat with his first competitive round in over three-and-half months.
“I could have shot a better score but after reeling off 11 pars in a row, I feel like I’m proud of myself to hang in there and just make those three birdies in the last seven holes and get in bogey-free, as well, no mistakes, played very solid, very smart. It was a good round of golf. It could have been better but I’ll take it,” he added.
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