BMW PGA: Ewen Murray reviews Rory McIlroy's opening round
Last Updated: 24/05/18 8:00pm
Ewen Murray looks back at an encouraging start for Rory McIlroy at the BMW PGA Championship and gives his verdict on the opening round at Wentworth.
It was quite difficult for the players because after weeks of sunshine in the south east and the course being firm, we saw it play very differently after the heavy overnight rain.
Anything learnt from the practice rounds may have gone out of the window, but the players adapted quickly and scoring was pretty much what we'd expect.
There was plenty to admire from the opening round in front of a great atmosphere, with plenty of eagles and excitement and scores in the mid-60s getting players to the top of the leaderboard.
McIlroy didn't make the most of the closing par-fives and will obviously feel disappointed with the missed opportunity, especially the short putt at the last, but he got off to a very good start with an opening-round 67.
The thing that pleased me more than anything, despite the miss at the 18th, was his putting. He looked very comfortable on the greens again, which was pleasing to see.
He has been a little up and down to be fair over the first half of the year, but we have seen in the past how he can take a tournament by the scruff of the neck like no other.
If he continues to drive the ball like he did today then he will be there or thereabouts on Sunday, although you may not see that as much as the course gets firmer and faster.
He hit a sand wedge into the 15th which was incredible, as some players were hitting five or six irons into it this morning. It would be no surprise if he was contending and looking to repeat that win of four years ago.
Wentworth isn't somewhere you need to hit driver at every hole, it's more about positioning yourself around the golf course. The players who stay patient enough to do that will impress this week.
If you look at the first 20 or so players on that leaderboard, there are plenty of names there who will fancy their chances this week. We're in for a great weekend and we'll know more after Friday, but anyone who sits top of that leaderboard come Sunday evening will be a worthy winner.
Watch the BMW PGA Championship throughout the week live on Sky Sports. Live coverage continues on Friday from 10am on Sky Sports Golf.