McIlroy in birdie spree to tie for Dubai lead
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[November 20, 2014]
By Matt Smith
DUBAI (Reuters) - Rory McIlroy rattled in
six birdies in an opening round six-under 66 at the DP World Tour
Championship on Thursday, mounting a late surge to share a one-shot lead
with Irelandís Shane Lowry.
World number one McIlroy started in blistering fashion. He sank a
12-foot birdie on the opening hole on the Earth course and picked up
a shot on the second after a misjudged eagle attempt.
A lip-out from 10 feet on the third halted his charge, but he
shrugged that off with a sublime tee-shot on the 245-yard par three
fourth as he made it four birdies in five holes.
The four-times major winner then recorded nine successive pars
before picking up shots on 15 and 16.
Lowry made four birdies in his final six holes to also finish one
shot ahead of Denmarkís Thorbjorn Olesen and Scotlandís Richie
Ramsay who stand joint-third on 67.
Henrik Stenson, second on the money list, shot 68 but the other big
names struggled. Jamie Donaldson made a par 72, Sergio Garcia 73 and
Marcel Siam 76.
McIlroy was playing for the first time in six weeks after taking a
break to fight a still unresolved legal case with his former agents.
Ahead of Dubai, McIlroy said he felt fresh following his break and
that could be an advantage over his jaded rivals, many of whom have
played back-to-back tournaments for several weeks.
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During his break, the Irishman was crowned European Tour money-list
winner for the second time in three years after his nearest rivals
failed to win the $7 million Turkish Airlines Open last week.
But there is still a lot to play for in Dubai, with the top 15
players sharing a $5 million bonus pool on top of the eventís $8
(Reporting by Matt Smith; Editing by Ken Ferris)
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