Belfast Telegraph

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McIlroy in contention

Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy carded an opening seven-under-par 63 at the UBS Hong Kong Open and is just one stroke behind early leader Mark Brown.

McIlroy teed off in the morning and set the early pace with eight birdies against just one bogey as he looks to win the event at the third time of asking, having narrowly missed out in 2008 and 2009.

The 21-year-old holed a putt from 15 feet on the ninth - his last - to move ahead of the field before Brown made his charge.

McIlroy's only blemish came on the par-four sixth when he sent his tee shot into the trees, requiring him to play it out left-handed.

"It is a great start to the tournament obviously. Going out and shooting a good first round is a great start," said McIlroy, who shares second place with Jeev Milkha Singh.

"You always feel you can do better. I let one go on the sixth, which was my only bogey of the day."

Fellow Northern Irishman Graeme McDowell - second to Germany's Martin Kaymer in the Race to Dubai - is three shots off the pace alongside five other players, including Damien McGrane.


From Belfast Telegraph