Rory McIlroy believes his 67 in Canada did not reflect how well he played
By Keith Jackson
Last Updated: 06/06/19 11:06pm
Rory McIlroy admitted he should have got more out of his first round as he marked his RBC Canadian Open debut with a "satisfactory" three-under 67.
McIlroy was happy to improve on his form at The Memorial last week, where he missed the cut for the first time this year, but he was left to reflect on a number of missed opportunities as he ended the opening day four strokes adrift of early leader Keegan Bradley.
The 30-year-old looked in great touch from tee to green at the short, tight Hamilton layout and hit 15 greens in regulation, but although he converted five chances for birdie, he missed twice from six feet and saw other mid-range efforts slide wide of the cup.
McIlroy also blotted his card with two bogeys, and he will look to atone in the second round as he completes his preparations for the US Open next week at Pebble Beach.
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"I feel like it's the highest score I could have shot out there," he said. "I played well and it was definitely an improvement on how I played last week at the Memorial. A little bit of work that I did over the weekend and the start of this week has seemed to fit in quite nicely.
"I hit it much better off the tee and that was a big key. You have to play out of these fairways to give yourself chances. Obviously there were a lot of low scores and, as I said, I felt like I could have gone a few lower, but it's golf.
"There is a lot of slope on the greens, and there is so much slope that it's hard to find four hole locations on some. They are challenging and with so much slope the speed has to be spot on. That was something I struggled a little bit with today. Felt like my pace wasn't as good as it needed to be to hole a few more putts.
"Hopefully if we continue to have this weather the next few days it can get a little firmer and it will start to play a little bit more like the way this course should play, which obviously would be a good precursor going into the US Open."
McIlroy also revealed he had changed the set-up in his bag and put in an extra wedge, a ploy he expects to use for the third major of the year in California.
"I put an extra wedge in my bag this week and went to a four-wedge set-up, which I think for the most part worked today," he added. "I hit one really bad wedge shot on the 12th, or my third hole. Apart from that, I felt like my wedges were pretty good.
"I feel like with how short Pebble is you're flying the ball for the most part, but I think there is a lot of shots from sort of 120 to 150 yards at Pebble. Which if I drive it well and give myself those shots, you really need to take advantage of those, especially a US Open where birdies are few and far between.
"It worked pretty well today, the four-wedge set-up, and it is the plan to continue with that going into next week."