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McIlroy within touching distan...

Golf

McIlroy within touching distance heading into day two at Tour Championship


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Rory McIlroy carded a superb opening round 66 has moved him to within a shot of the lead at the season-ending Tour Championship.

The Northern Irishman began his first-round five shots adrift of Justin Thomas, as part of a staggered starting system derived from the FedEx Cup Playoffs points list.

Alongside Thomas at the top of the leader board are world number one Brooks Koepka and Xander Schauffele.

"I got off to a decent start. It is so tough to shoot a score around here if you don't hit it in the fairway," McIlroy said of his first day's work in Atlanta.

"To play the back nine in three under and get in with a decent score is very nice.

"I would have liked to have birdied the last but I'm right there with three rounds to go.

"If I can replicate this round of golf three more times I think I'll have a good chance."

Koepka admits he was "freaking out" about his game going into this week.

“It’s funny about this game. When it's going really well, you're never thinking. And then all of a sudden, everything kind of abandons you, and you're trying to figure out, what's the answer? What's the answer? How do I right the ship? How do I figure it out? And you start looking at ten different things, and odds are it's one simple thing,”

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