Arnold Palmer Invitational, Round One: McIlroy credits Tiger Woods for early lead
From the UK Evening Standard:
Rory McIlroy said he was inspired by Tiger Woods as he moved into an early lead at the Arnold Palmer Invitational on Thursday.
McIlroy appeared to be struggling once again early on but ignited his round with five straight birdies on the back nine before closing for the clubhouse lead on a six-under-par 66. Afterwards, McIlroy said he had copied the approach to Bay Hill previously adopted by Woods, who is currently recovering from surgery after his recent car crash.
“I’ve watched Tiger enough here over the years and the way he played this course was he played it very conservatively,” said the former world No1. “He took care of the par fives and that was usually enough to get the job done. So, sort of take a little bit of a leaf out of his book.” More here
From the Irish Times:
McIlroy, the world number eight and seeking a first win since the HSBC Champions at the tailend of 2019, used his putter to light the fuse over the following few holes. The catalyst for his display of fireworks was a 55 footer on the second, and there followed successful conversions of birdie putts on the third (from 22 feet), fourth (two feet), fifth (four feet) and sixth (three feet) as the putter turned hot. In all, McIlroy’s putting statistics saw him convert no fewer than 146-footage of putts...
...McIlroy, who suffered a rare missed cut at the Genesis Invitational and bounced back with a tied-sixth finish in the WGC-Workday Championship last week, won the API in 2018 and has adopted something out of Tiger Woods’s playbook in his methodology in how to play the course as his 66 gave him the clubhouse lead and a one stroke advantage over US Open champion Bryson DeChambeau. More here
From the Independent:
Rory McIlroy revealed he approaches Bay Hill in a similar way to course specialist Tiger Woods after making a superb start to his bid for a second victory in the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
McIlroy, who claimed the title in 2018 and has finished no worse than tied sixth in each of the last four years, fired seven birdies - including five in a row on his back nine - and one bogey in an opening 66 to set the early clubhouse target. Full article