Rory McIlroy challenging after promising first round at WGC HSBC Champions in Shanghai
Rory McIlroy is in the hunt after round one of the World Golf Championship HSBC Champions event in Shanghai.
The world number two carded a five under par 67 to sit three shots behind early leader Haotong Li in a tie for seventh at Sheshan International Golf Club.
Beginning on the 10th, Rory had a topsy-turvy opening nine with three birdies matched by three bogeys to make the turn at level par.
The switch was flicked, however, on his 11th hole of the day as he began a run of four straight birdies, with another following at his 16th hole to make it eight for the day.
McIlroy is keen for a strong finish to try and make further ground on world number one Brooks Koepka, who is out of action with a knee strain.
"I started this year maybe eighth or ninth in the world. If I play well the next few weeks, I'll have a great platform going into next year," he said before this week's event."
Frenchman Victor Perez is second after round one, with Sungjae Im, Adam Scott, Matthew Fitzpatrick and Xander Schauffele on six under par.
Belfast Telegraph Digital