DP World Tour Championship: Impressive Rory McIlroy takes early clubhouse lead


Rory McIlroy in action on day one of the DP World Tour Championship
McIlroy’s fast start saw him move to six under after eight holes
-7 R McIlroy (NI); -5 T Pulkkanen (Fin), J Hansen (Den), C Bezuidenhout (SA); -4 S Horsfield (Eng), M Kaymer (Ger), S Garcia (Esp), M Armitage (Eng), R MacIntyre (Sco)
Selected others: -3 S Lowry (IRE), C Morikawa* (US); -2 J Donaldson (WAL), T Fleetwood*, P Casey*, T Hatton* (All Eng); -1 J Morrison (Eng), M Fitzpatrick* (Eng)
*Denotes round ongoing

Rory McIlroy took a two-shot clubhouse lead with a seven-under-par 65 in the opening round of the DP World Tour Championship.

The world number eight made a blistering start with four birdies and an eagle in the opening eight holes.

Tapio Pulkkanen, Joachim B Hansen and Christiaan Bezuidenhout are two shots back with play ongoing on day one in Dubai.

McIlroy has twice won the European Tour’s season finale, in 2012 and 2015.

His Olympic and Ryder Cup team-mate Shane Lowry is also in contention on three under with Sergio Garcia and English duo Sam Horsfield and Marcus Armitage three shots off the early lead.

Four-time major winner McIlroy arrived at the tournament having returned to working with long-time coach Michael Bannon following an eight-month stint with Pete Cowen.

A two-time winner on this year’s PGA tour – once last season and once this – McIlroy flew out of the traps with an eagle and a birdie on the opening two holes.

A bogey at the ninth was the only blemish on an otherwise impressive start from the Northern Irishman, who stretched his lead to two shots with a birdie on the par-five 18th.

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