After months of inaccuracy due to an equipment change, and swing problems, the Worlds number two player, Rory McIlroy enjoyed his evening meal with a share of the first round lead at The Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow. The 23 year-old from Northern Ireland shot 67 on Thursday, and shared the overnight lead with a host of other players including Nick Watney.
McIlroy has struggled with his swing, and confidence since his huge announcement in Abu Dhabi back in January that he would be joining Tiger Woods as an employee at Nike. He struggled with making cuts, even walking off the golf course during the second round of The Honda Classic, citing a toothache as the reason for his sudden departure.
Rory started showing signs of life with a nice finish at Doral the following week, and progressively getting better as his confidence returns. He made a nice run at The Valero Texas Open to finish in second place. His confidence wasn’t there during the early rounds at Augusta, but he shot a nice final round 69, moved up 19 spots, and finished in a tie for 25th position at two over par.
It’s just a matter of time before the young Ulsterman gets his confidence, and golf swing back in the form he enjoyed at the end of the 2012 season when he won the money title on both major tours, and lapped the field at Kiawah Island in The PGA Championship before winning the Race To Dubai Title. My dream of a Sunday afternoon matchup with Rory and Tiger coming down the stretch is becoming more of a reality than the Fantasy it appeared to be a few months ago.
He would begin his day at Quail Hollow in the afternoon session on the front nine, and got his putter working early making four birdies in a row starting at the fifth hole. He gave one back at nine before making the turn at -3 under 33. He picked up three more birdies on the back nine, and a bogey at the newly renovated green at 12. Unfortunately, he will have to begin Friday’s round in the morning on the back nine, and in defense of the players, the greens on the storied old course are in horrible shape.
It is my understanding that as soon as the Wells Fargo Championship is completed on Sunday, they will be tearing all of the greens out, and rebuilding them in preparations for the 2017 PGA Championship. The greens are currently seeded in bermudagrass, and I’m not sure what grass they will re-seed them with, but it has to be better than what they are at this time.
There are a bunch of the world’s top players in the field this week, so we should be setting up for a nice finish on Sunday afternoon in preparations for The Players Championship next week where there will be a full field of quality players including the World’s number one, Tiger Woods.
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