Rory McIlroy sides with 'cavalier' Tiger Woods


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The Independent Online

Rory McIlroy has leapt to the defence of Tiger Woods after a pundit accused the American of being "cavalier with the rules".

In a column, Brandel Chamblee, a former US PGA Tour winner turned Golf Channel pundit, graded several golfers for their seasons. Of Woods, he wrote: "He won five times and contended in majors and won the Vardon [Player of the Year] Trophy and... how shall we say this... was a little cavalier with the rules". Woods has threatened to sue Chamblee over his remarks and McIlroy has urged the TV company to take action against the pundit.

"He was out of line and something should be done about it [by] the Golf Channel, that's who Brandel is employed by and they are the ones that can deal with it. I'll let the Golf Channel executives think what the right way is," the Northern Irishman said after his first round gave him an early lead at the WGC Champions Tournament in Shanghai.

McIlroy had reason to smile after hitting 65 – two better than Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano and Welshman Jamie Donaldson on five-under and one shot more ahead of a group of four players that includes the American prospect Jordan Spieth and Justin Rose.

"It's only one round but it's definitely the way I wanted and needed to start this week," said McIlroy, who, if he wins, will book himself a place at the European Tour's season-ending event in Dubai in two weeks' time.

"Last week I wasn't reading the greens very well and my pace was off as well and when you have that combination you're not going to hole any putts. I let a couple of putts get away from me today but I was able to hole the ones coming back."

England's Simon Dyson said he is happy to appear before a disciplinary panel which could ban him from the European Tour, after insisting that his disqualification from the BMW Masters last week was the result of "an accidental mistake".

Dyson was joint-second after 36 holes at Lake Malaren when he was disqualified for failing to add a two-shot penalty to his card and signing for the wrong score.

Senior European Tour officials have concluded that an investigation into an alleged "serious breach" of the Tour's code of behaviour was required.

Dyson said: "I am perfectly happy to cooperate with the investigation by the independent disciplinary panel."