Rory McIlroy is happy with his overall performance from his opening round at The Open

The former champion was left with something of a mountain to climb towards the end of the day

BY Sinéad Farrell 09:46 Friday 15 July 2016, 9:46 15 Jul 2016

Danny Lawson / PA Wire/Press Association Images

Rory McIlroy says he was pleased with his opening round of 69 on day one of The Open at Royal Troon in Scotland.

The former champion told Sky Sports that he took confidence from the composure he showed to bounce back from a double bogey on the 13th followed by a bogey shot on the 14th.

This bump in momentum followed a strong performance on the front nine, in which he reached four under par after eight holes. 

He began his recovery with a birdie on the 15th which teed him up to finish the day on two under and leave him six shots of the American leader Phil Mickelson.

Reflecting on the opening round, McIlroy said:

"You really need to make hay on the front nine with a lot of these holes playing downwind. I knew that was where the majority of the scores were going to come from. Thankfully after getting off to a pretty slow start I was able to make a run of birdies there and finished the front nine pretty well and then as you saw on the back nine, it's very difficult today."

He continued:

"I felt that 10 and 11 were probably two of the hardest holes on the course, but I felt that I negotiated those pretty well and I actually hit two of the best shots all day on 13 and ended up taking six so that was disappointing.

"I think that stayed with me on 14, but to bounce back with a birdie on 15 was good. It would have been nice to pick up one in the last three, but as I said something in the 60s was a solid start."

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