In what can be classed as a good day for the Irish, Rory McIlroy lies just three shots off the lead following his first round at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open in Ballyliffin. He spoke to Nathan Murphy about his performance.
"It was a decent round it definitely could have been better but I have to take the positives. I hit the ball better from tee to green than I had done in the last few weeks. I felt more comfortable out there in my swing. I just need to get a few more putts to drop would be good," he said.
After missing his fair share of birdie opportunities today, McIlroy explained why he thought the putts just weren’t dropping for him: "Just the lines. This is the first time I’ve putted links greens in a while. They’re much more settled than the greens that we play in the states. Just trying to commit to a line, maybe I'm reading too much into it.
"I just need to commit to the lines I’m choosing and just make good strokes. No, but that can change. The ball just didn’t go in, I held some good putts , but I’m gonna need to hole a few more over the next few days if I’m to stand a chance."
With the fairways so narrow and dry and the winds gathering, McIlroy spoke about how he felt the course played out.
"There are times today maybe where I wanted to hit driver but the fairways are playing too firm. I’m hitting 2 irons over 300 yards out there. You don’t need to hit driver, but it’s playing good it’s a proper links test.
"If the weather keeps up like this it’s going to be really fiery at the weekend and be a good test for all of us."