.- Northern Ireland Rory McIlroy signed on Thursday a 63-stroke card and dominated the first round of the World Golf Championship-Mexico Championship in which Spaniard Sergio Garcia shared the eleventh position.
McIIroy, 29, set the pace of the first heat over the American Dustin Johnson thanks to his play of the day on the 1st hole with an ‘eagle’ that earned him the ovation of the audience, in addition to the seven ‘birdies’ and a ‘bogey’ on the flag of six at the Chapultepec Golf Club, north of the Mexican capital.
The Northern Irishman, winner of four ‘majors’ tournaments, stayed one stroke above signing the lowest score card in the history of the tournament that American Justin Thomas won last year with 62.
“I think the most important part of my game having been good was the good control of the distances, in addition to my attitude, with more confidence in myself without feeling so much pressure,” said the Northern Irishman, who thanked the support of a new member of his team for this change of mentality.
The altitude above sea level of Mexico City, 2,240 meters, is a challenge for players because the ball acquires greater height and must adjust between 10 and 15 percent their shots, including some are forced to change stick .
McIlroy, who is looking for his 15th PGA triumph, finished the opening with 63 hits (-8), one less than Johnson, who scored seven birdies. Sergio Garcia recorded 67 shots on his card, four under par. He made five birdies, but a double ‘bogey’ stained his performance in the opening round of the third edition of the WGC-Mexico Championship.
The great attraction of the event, the American Tiger Woods, and his compatriot Phil Mickelson, defending champion, finished in positions 25 and 70, respectively.
- Classification after the first round:
.one. Rory McIlroy (IRL) 63 (-8)
.two. Dustin Johnson (USA) 64
.3. Justin Thomas (USA) 66
. +. Matt Kuchar (USA) 66
.5.Tyrrell Hatton (ING) 67
. +. George Coetzee (ZAF) 67
.7. David Lipsky (USA) 68
. +. Billy Horschel (USA) 68
. +. Ian Poulter (ING) 68
. +. Kiradech Aphibarnra (THA) 68
- Sergio García (ESP) 69
- Abraham Ancer (MEX) 71
- Jon Rahm (ESP) 72
- Rafa Cabrera Belloc (ESP) 74
. +. Emiliano Grillo (ARG) 76
- Adrián Otaegui (ESP) 77 (EFE)