MEXICO CITY Ė Northern Irelandís Rory McIlroy signed a 63-stroke card on Thursday and dominated the first round of the World Golf Championship-Mexico Championship held at the Club de Golf Chapultepec.
McIIroy, 29, set the pace at the first round, ahead of American Dustin Johnson, thanks to his dayís play on the 305 yard first hole, his tenth of the day, where he scored an eagle that earned him a standing ovation from the crowd, as well as seven birdies and a bogey at Chapultepec Golf Club, north of the Mexican capital.
McIllroy, a four-time major champion, was just one stroke above signing the card with the lowest score in the history of the tournament, which was achieved by US player Justin Thomas last year with 62.
ďIím managing my game well. I love where my attitude is at. My attitude on the golf course is fantastic and my putting is good. Iíve seen some really good signs with my putting over the last few weeks,Ē said the Northern Irish, who also was grateful for the support of a new member of his team who works on this change of mentality.
The altitude above sea level in Mexico City, 2,240 meters, is a challenge for the players because the ball acquires greater height and they must adjust their shots between 10 and 15 percent, some are forced to adjust the choice of their club, but driving distances are generally longer as well.
McIlroy, who is looking for his 15th PGA win, finished the first day with an 8-under-par 63, one less than Johnson, who scored seven birdies. Sergio Garcia had 67 strokes on his card, four under par. He managed five birdies, but a double bogey stained his performance in the opening round of the third edition of the WGC-Mexico Championship.
Some of the favorites at the event didnít do so well as American Tiger Woods carded a 71, and his compatriot Phil Mickelson, the defending champion, had an eight-over-par 79 and they finished in 25th and 70th place, respectively.