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I need to find a higher gear, admits Rory

 

By Phil Casey

Rory McIlroy admitted he needs to improve his performance on the greens at Ballyliffin if he is to contend for a second Dubai Duty Free Irish Open title.

The Ulsterman was delighted with his ball-striking during his opening two-under-par 70 at the County Donegal links, but he was frustrated at missing a number of chances to have been closer - or ahead of - early leader Ryan Fox, on five under.

"It could have been a lot better," said the tournament host. "It's the best I've hit the ball in a long time. My iron play was good as well, but I just struggled on the greens."

Padraig Harrington thrilled the crowd and made a mockery of 66-1 odds with a super 68.

Harrington said: "I know if I just stay patient, hopefully I'll manage it well enough to get myself into position with nine holes to go."

Belfast Telegraph

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