Rory McIlroy Starts 2019 In Decent Fashion At Tournament Of Champions

Rory McIlroy Starts 2019 In Decent Fashion At Tournament Of Champions

Fourth-ranked Justin Thomas, the 2017 TOC champion, birdied five of the last seven holes including a 13-foot birdie putt on the last hole, to total 67 and is tied for second with Gary Woodland, who collected four birdies on each nine, and third-ranked Dustin Johnson, the defending champion, who holed a four-footer for birdie on the last hole.

Tway's blemish-free round included seven birdies in what is his first appearance in the winners-only event after earning his first PGA Tour title at the Safeway Open in October previous year.

However the world No.20 bounced back with a birdie at the par-5 18th and a five-under-par 68 left him two shots back of day one leader Kevin Tway (66).

McIlroy, who shot 68, isn't the only former major victor still in the hunt as American Justin Thomas is tied for sixth after posting a one-under 72.

"I was just trying to hit the green", he said. "The front nine's the tough nine on this golf course, and I had a couple opportunities, but I just thought if I could get through that first nine under par, I would have a few chances on the back nine".

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Woodland, 34, went on a roll last summer finishing in the top 12 in six-out-of-seven worldwide starts.

"The good thing also is I have only had two bogeys in 36-holes and that's nice way to start the new year". "It is something to build on going into the weekend".

Former world No.1 Day had come within a shot of the lead courtesy of two birdies in his first five holes before racking up a disastrous triple-bogey six at the par-3 eighth.

Johnson accidentally hit the wrong ball from the native area following an errant drive, and was assessed a two-shot penalty which resulted in a double bogey. "That won't ever happen again I promise you that", said Johnson who is tied for 12th.