In a low-scoring opening round at the CJ Cup, Rory McIlroy was doing his best to keep pace with the front-runners.
McIlroy was 6 under par with two holes to play when he hit an errant 3-wood off the tee at the par-4 17th. From the native area, right of the fairway, McIlroy tried to play his next shot out but could only advance his ball 4 feet. He then took an unplayable – along with a penalty shot – and eventually carded a triple bogey.
“Yeah, it was really good apart from one bad swing,” McIlroy said. “I missed a 3-wood on 17 right, messed around in the rough a little bit over there and ended up making a 7. It was sort of – JT did a similar thing on 9; Jason did a similar thing on 12.”
JT being Justin Thomas, who made a triple bogey as well at the par-4 ninth. The third member of their threesome, defending champion Jason Kokrak, also made a triple bogey at the par-4 12th.
McIlroy didn’t end his day on that sour note, however, as he wrapped up a 4-under 68 with a birdie at the par-5 18th.
Prior to the mishap at No. 17, McIlroy had made five birdies, one bogey and an eagle, which came at the par-5 14th.
McIlroy is seven strokes off the first-round lead, held by Robert Streb, who shot 11-under 61 on Thursday at The Summit Club.
“It's one of those courses where if you just keep it in play, it's obviously very scorable, but you hit a couple just offline and you get a bad break or a little unlucky, you can make a big number and I did that on 17,” McIlroy said. “But the other 17 holes were good.”