'Angry' McIlroy settles for 71 to open BMW defense

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Another week, another tournament, another time zone, and another round of par or better for Rory McIlroy.

Even with a disappointing finish, the world No. 1 shot a 1-under 71 Thursday to sit six shots off the lead at the European Tour’s BMW PGA Championship.

The BMW PGA, which kick-started his incredible summer run a year ago, is McIlroy’s fourth consecutive start. He is also playing next week’s Irish Open, an event hosted by his foundation.

He has hoisted a trophy two of the past three weeks, but he has also played 265 holes and flown more than 7,100 miles during that span.


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Physically, McIlroy said he’s holding up fine. He’s more concerned about his mental edge.

“I could feel myself getting a little angry out there,” he told reporters. “Acceptance of bad shots is the thing I have been doing so well, and I feel like my patience was wearing a bit thin today.”

His 1-under-par opener at Wentworth was still his 20th consecutive stroke-play round of par or better, dating to the second round of the WGC-Cadillac Championship.

On Thursday, he mixed four birdies with three bogeys, but likely was left wanting more after he failed to birdie each of the closing par-5 holes. 

Right of the 17th green in two, he attempted a big flop shot that carried too far and trickled off the green. His fourth shot lipped out and he settled for par. 

After driving into a fairway bunker on 18, McIlroy was forced to lay up and then wedged to 10 feet. His birdie putt came up a few inches short. 

“I felt like I was standing still at 1 under,” he said, “but looking at the leaderboard it was not so bad.”