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McIlroy has first round in 60s of 2013

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DORAL, Fla. – It was a Friday of firsts for Rory McIlroy, at least in 2013.

For the first time this year McIlroy will play the weekend, although that was already assured at the no-cut WGC-Cadillac Championship. More importantly, the world No. 1 finds himself under par for the first time this calendar year.

“I said to my mom walking off 15 green, ‘Oh my God, I’m in red numbers,’” he said.

Not that it was easy getting to those red numbers. The Ulsterman began the day with a birdie at the first but was still over par for the week at the turn following an opening-round 73.

After the turn McIlroy birdied four of his next seven holes and signed for a second-round 69 despite a bogey at the last that left him tied for 32nd at 2 under par.

“I felt like I hit the ball quite a bit better, not as good as I can, but I saw a lot of good signs,” McIlroy said.

McIlroy missed the cut in his season opener in Abu Dhabi, lost in the first round of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship and withdrew after eight holes last Friday at the Honda Classic with an ailing tooth.

McIlroy said on Wednesday he would consider adding an event to his schedule before The Masters depending on how he played this week at Doral, but he isn’t in the field for next week’s Tampa Bay Championship and said he probably will not play the Arnold Palmer Invitational.