Kolon Korea Open: Rory McIlroy three shots off lead after solid opening round
Rory McIlroy produced a strong finish to card a round of 70 on the opening day of the Kolon Korea Open.
Last Updated: 18/10/13 8:40am
The former world No 1 is trying to rediscover some form at the OneAsia Tour event having managed just one top-five result all season.
McIlroy made a solid enough start on the first day, recording a birdie and a bogey as he covered the front nine in a level-par 36.
A double-bogey at 13, where he found water off the tee, dropped him down the leaderboard but the Northern Irishman rallied to pick up three shots, birdieing the last two holes to end the day on one-under par in a tie for 12th place.
McIlroy, who was returning to action after a month away from competitive golf, is hoping to go on better than his second-placed finish to Rickie Fowler at the tournament two years ago.
On his mistake at 13, he said: "I just wasn't very comfortable with the tee shot. I took a long time to get settled over it and then just didn't make a very good swing.
"It was tough, some of the pin positions out there today were brutal, just cut on slopes and very hard to get close to them and when you did get close to them you left yourself very tricky putts.
"I felt I was a little rusty after the four weeks off, but I battled back nicely and to end up under par for the day wasn't too bad."
Home golfers dominated the top of the standings, with South Korean Ik-jae Jang in the lead after a four-under round of 67 which included an eagle two at the par-four 10th.
Three of the four men tied for second place were also local players, with American Eric Mina the only interloper on three-under. Defending champion Kim Dae-sub was one shot further back.
Scottish veteran Simon Yates ended the day alongside McIlroy on one-under, although his round would have been much better if it were not for consecutive bogeys at nine and 10.