WGC-Mexico Championship R1

Rory McIlroy enjoys two-shot lead in Mexico

February 20-23
Chapultepec GC, Mexico City, Mexico
$10,500,000
Round 2, Round 3, Round 4


A return to his old putter paid instant dividends for world number one Rory McIlroy as he set the pace in the WGC-Mexico Championship.

WGC-Mexico Championship R1 - McIlroy enjoys two-shot lead
(AP Photo/Fernando Llano)

McIlroy carded an eagle, five birdies and a solitary bogey in an opening six-under-par 65 at Chapultepec Golf Club to enjoy a two-shot lead over Justin Thomas and Bubba Watson.


“It was good, all aspects of my game were working pretty well today,” McIlroy told Sky Sports. “I drove the ball well and I took advantage of that, but I think the big thing was that I putted well.

“I didn’t putt so well at Riviera last week so went back to my old putter. I was trying a new one last week and it didn’t quite work out the way I wanted to. I was comfortable on the greens today and held some nice ones coming in.”

After starting from the 10th, McIlroy holed from 15 feet for an eagle on the par-five 11th and birdied the 15th and second before dropping his only shot of the day on the fourth after coming up short of the green with his approach.

Three birdies in the last four holes put McIlroy in pole position to go one better than 12 months ago when he finished second to Dustin Johnson, who struggled to an opening 76.


“I’ve always played well at altitude,” McIlroy added. “I finished second in Crans (Omega European Masters) last year, second here last year – I think I’ve got the altitude pretty figured out, I’ve got a pretty good formula for it.”

McIlroy also performed well on the difficult poa annua greens at Chapultepec and added: “You have to read it as well as you can, try and start it on your line and if it goes in, it goes in.

“That was sort of the saving grace last week, I knew everyone was struggling on the greens. If a putt misses and you’ve hit a good putt you just have to step up to the next one and try again. That’s what I did today, I had a really good attitude on the greens and it paid off.”


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Golf Ranking
By GT Editor
Pos.
Player
Nat
To Par
R1
1
Rory McIlroy
NIR
-6
65
T2
Bubba Watson
USA
-4
67
T2
Justin Thomas
USA
-4
67
T4
Billy Horschel
USA
-3
68
T4
Bryson DeChambeau
USA
-3
68
T4
Corey Conners
CAN
-3
68
T4
Louis Oosthuizen
RSA
-3
68
T8
Hideki Matsuyama
JPN
-2
69
T8
Lee Westwood
ENG
-2
69
T8
Patrick Reed
USA
-2
69
T8
Paul Casey
ENG
-2
69
T8
Sung-Jae Im
KOR
-2
69
T8
Tyrrell Hatton
ENG
-2
69
T14
Abraham Ancer
USA
-1
70
T14
Bernd Wiesberger
AUT
-1
70
T14
Erik Van Rooyen
RSA
-1
70
T14
Gary Woodland
USA
-1
70
T14
Tommy Fleetwood
ENG
-1
70
T19
Branden Grace
RSA
Par
71
T19
Chez Reavie
USA
Par
71
T19
Justin Harding
RSA
Par
71
T19
Kevin Na
USA
Par
71
T19
Lucas Glover
USA
Par
71
T19
Matthias Schwab
AUT
Par
71
T19
Pablo Larrazabal
ESP
Par
71
T19
Rafael Cabrera Bello
ESP
Par
71
T19
Sebastian Munoz
COL
Par
71
T19
Zach Murray
AUS
Par
71
T29
Brendon Todd
USA
1
72
T29
Christiaan Bezuidenhout
RSA
1
72
T29
Collin Morikawa
USA
1
72
T29
Francesco Molinari
ITA
1
72
T29
Jon Rahm
ESP
1
72
T29
Lanto Griffin
USA
1
72
T29
Matthew Fitzpatrick
ENG
1
72
T29
Ryan Fox
NZL
1
72
T29
Scott Hend
AUS
1
72
T29
Shane Lowry
IRL
1
72
T29
Webb Simpson
USA
1
72
T29
Xander Schauffele
USA
1
72
T41
Benjamin Hebert
FRA
2
73
T41
Cameron Smith
AUS
2
73
T41
Danny Willett
ENG
2
73
T41
Jason Kokrak
USA
2
73
T41
Jazz Janewattananond
THA
2
73
T41
Kevin Kisner
USA
2
73
T41
Scottie Scheffler
USA
2
73
T41
Zander Lombard
RSA
2
73
T49
Adam Scott
AUS
3
74
T49
Jordan Spieth
USA
3
74
T49
Marc Leishman
AUS
3
74
T49
Matt Wallace
ENG
3
74
T49
Sergio Garcia
ESP
3
74
T49
Shugo Imahira
JPN
3
74
T55
Byeong-Hun An
KOR
4
75
T55
Carlos Ortiz
MEX
4
75
T55
Charles Howell III
USA
4
75
T55
Lucas Herbert
AUS
4
75
T55
Marcus Kinhult
SWE
4
75
T55
Matt Kuchar
USA
4
75
T55
Shaun Norris
RSA
4
75
T62
Brandt Snedeker
USA
5
76
T62
Dustin Johnson
USA
5
76
T62
Graeme McDowell
NIR
5
76
T62
Kurt Kitayama
USA
5
76
T62
Michael Lorenzo-Vera
FRA
5
76
T62
Robert MacIntyre
SCO
5
76
T62
Sung-Hoon Kang
KOR
5
76
69
Jorge Campillo
ESP
6
77
T70
Ryo Ishikawa
JPN
9
80
T70
Taehee Lee
KOR
9
80
72
Victor Perez
FRA
10
81