McIlroy fights back after facing more troubles

 

Rory McIlroy recovered from a nightmare quadruple-bogey seven on the ninth hole to climb back in touch with the leaders at the midway point of the first round of the Memorial Tournament in Dublin, Ohio, yesterday.

The Northern Irishman went into the tournament after missing two successive cuts for the first time in his career and handing back his world No 1 ranking to Luke Donald, and for a time things looked set to go from bad to worse.

McIlroy found two bunkers and the water once at the ninth, but produced a sterling recovery with two birdies and a fifth-hole eagle for a final total for the round of 71, two shots off the early leaders, American Blake Adams, Argentina's Andres Romero and Aaron Baddeley of Australia.

Like McIlroy, Tiger Woods showed signs of a recovery from his recent travails as he posted a two-under-par round of 70, tarnished only by a double-bogey at the par-four 18th hole.

Donald celebrated returning to the world No 1 spot with a one-under-par 71 which included three birdies and, like Woods, a double-bogey on the 18th.

Phil Mickelson withdrew after carding a seven-over-par 79, which included covering the back nine in six-over 42. "I think mentally I'm a little bit fatigued," said Mickelson, who has only just returned from a trip to Europe to celebrate his wife's 40th birthday. He will now concentrate on preparing for the US Open.

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