McIlroy, Berger and Ancer in joint lead at Hero World Challenge
Rory McIlroy, Daniel Berger and Abraham Ancer fired a matching 6-under 66 each in the opening round to share the lead at the Hero World Challenge golf tournament here.McIlroy, who has found his form after an inconsistent show earlier this year, had six birdies and an eagle on par-4 14th, which was the highlight of his day.
McIlroy, who has found his form after an inconsistent show earlier this year, had six birdies and an eagle on par-4 14th, which was the highlight of his day. The 32-year-old had a double-bogey on the par-5 ninth as he found the water with his second shot. The CJ Cup winner followed it up with a poor fourth but did well to recover from it and stake a claim in the lead at the Albany Golf Club here on Thursday.
''I was trying to ride my luck a little bit. On the 9th pulled my tee shot but got away with it and sort of kicked around that fairway bunker and had enough club to get there in two, I was trying to pull a shot off and I didn't and ended up making a double from it,'' McIlroy said.
''Happy with how I responded on the back nine after that. Played the back nine in 5 under par. It was a nice little response to not quite a mental error. I mean, I committed to the shot, I just didn't make a great swing. ''It was nice to play the back nine the way I did and put myself back in the tournament,'' he added.
On the other hand, Berger, who is making first start in an individual event since the 2021 TOUR Championship, led most of the day having birdied his opening four holes. The world No. 17, who won the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am earlier this year, had an eagle on the par-5 11th and bogies on the 12th and 18th.
Ancer, one of eight players in the field making tournament debut, had a relatively consistent round with seven bridies and a sole bogey. The 30-year-old Mexican was pleased with his efforts on the opening day.
''It was a very solid round. Happy with pretty much all of my bag. I feel like I hit it great. Off the tee I felt like I had a little bit more speed this week. ''I feel like my body was moving nicely and iron play was pretty solid as well, but probably the highlight was definitely my putter. I rolled it nicely today,'' Ancer said.
World No. 2 Collin Morikawa, who is aiming to end the year as the top-ranked golfer, was 4 under 68 at the end of day one to be tied-7th with Tiny Finau, Patrick Reed and Victor Hovland, while defending champion Henrik Stenson shot an even par 72 to lie 19th.
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