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Rory McIlroy rues his silly mistakes while Michael Hoey shines in Sweden

By Phil Casey

Rory McIlroy was again counting the cost of "too many mistakes" as he carded an erratic 71 in the first round of the star-studded Memorial Tournament in Ohio.

McIlroy also caused a few raised eyebrows after deciding to revert to a conventional putting grip, feeling that he did not putt well at the K Club in his last outing despite lifting his home Irish Open title.

The World No.3, playing alongside Jordan Spieth, was one over par with two holes remaining at Muirfield Village before salvaging a respectable one-under round with birdies at the eighth and ninth.

"I was happy to salvage something," said the Ulsterman, who was seven shots adrift of early leader Dustin Johnson. "It felt like every time I hit a birdie, I made a bogey. I think I hit 11 fairways, and so I drove it well enough to put myself in position to go at pins and hit greens.

"I just made a few too many mistakes. It's criminal if you don't hit the fairway, it really can punish you. The fairway bunkers are deep and the rough is pretty thick, but I feel off the tee I was good and gave myself chances.

"Six birdies is great, but the five dropped shots was the rest of the story. I just need to limit the mistakes, but hopefully I've got all of them out of my system."

Meanwhile, Michael Hoey is just two shots off the lead at the Nordea Masters in Sweden as he aims to avoid an unlucky 13.

The Belfast golfer shot a three under par 69 in the opening round, but couldn't do any better than be in a tie for 15th place, with six players shooting 67 and eight more finishing with 68.

Hoey, who started his round at the 10th, turned on 33 after three birdies in six holes.

He suffered a wobble, bogeying the first and third holes, but carded two more birdies in his last five holes.

Hoey has missed 12 successive cuts, and went home early from the BMW Championship at Wentworth last weekend.

Belfast Telegraph


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