ATLANTA – Rory McIlroy opened with a 1-under 69 at the Tour Championship on Friday, good for a share of 11th place, three strokes behind the leaders. He might not be overly proud of that score, but he was proud of the way he played.
“I could have let the round get away from me a little bit, but hung together well,” he explained afterward. “And 1‑under par is not out of it.”
Playing the fourth of four straight weeks in the FedEx Cup playoffs, McIlroy admitted his game hasn’t been up to his usual standards lately.
“I haven't been firing on all cylinders for the past couple of weeks,” he said. “I feel like I know what I'm doing out there. I know what's comfortable in my golf game, and I just need to try and feel that for the next three days.”
He insisted that this was a round that would have been worse a few years ago.
“In years gone by, [I’d be] shooting a 73 or 74. You're just trying to get around my round as much as possible. And it's really an important week. It's not a week to give up. It's a week to keep hanging in there and having a nice couple par putts and looking forward to the finish.
“Hopefully I can show a little bit more consistency over the next few days.”