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McIlroy suffers early scare

Favourite Rory McIlroy had an injury worry early in his bid for the USPGA title in Atlanta.

The 22-year-old US Open champion jarred his right wrist playing a shot from close to a tree root on the third hole. He was given an ice pack before continuing, but was still clearly in pain as he played a bunker shot on the same hole.

After starting with two pars he bogeyed to be eight behind leader Steve Stricker, whose seven under 63 equalled the major record.

McIlroy was still hurting as he played the fourth and long fifth and was given a long examination before being assured he could go on without risking serious injury. The world number four then got up and down from a bunker for a birdie that took him back to level par, but his hand came off the club again as he drove at the next.

However, PGA Tour physio Digby Watt predicted the US Open champion would be able to complete his round.

He told Sky Sports News: "From what we can tell it looks like he should be okay. The nerve that runs through his hand all the way up to his shoulder could be a bit irritated - we hope it's not too bad.

"It's hard to tell but you can play through those. Hopefully he's ruled out any fractures or tears and as long as he ices it he should hopefully be able to get through the round without any damage."

Padraig Harrington struggled around the course, but came in with a 73 at three over.

The 2008 champion parted company with coach Bob Torrance two weeks ago to try to arrest a slide down the world rankings that has already taken him from third to 69th.

He also birdied the long 12th, but then came bogeys on the 13th, 15th, 18th and first as his problems became apparent again.


From Belfast Telegraph