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Rory breaks his rules to blow up Bay Hill- Ten Golf

Rory McIlroy tees off the 15th hole at Bay Hill during day one of the Arnold Palmer Invitational. © Golffile | Fran Caffrey



Rory McIlroy tees off the 15th hole at Bay Hill during day one of the Arnold Palmer Invitational. © Golffile | Fran Caffrey

Had said Rory McIlroy (-7) the day before the start of the Arnold Palmer Invitationalreferring to his sensations and strategy at Bay Hill, who did not feel that it was a field where he had to do anything ‘special’ to collect fruit here and there, to achieve results and see himself in the fight at all times.

It is about, explained the Northern Irishman, to carry out a clean task in the par 5s, the most accessible of the course, taking from these holes a good supply of birdies, to take the pars for granted and, if anything, to take advantage of any of the pars 4 shorter, assuming without changing the gesture, even, that a bogey could fall on you here or there, because as soon as you miss a street the matter can get ugly. Total: two or three less per day, even four less if everything has gone very well, in order to put together a cumulative that will place you with certainty chances of victory in the last nine on Sunday… Golf seems so simple in the head and the mouth of this man.

And the fact is that all of this has been done Rory in the morning shift of this first day in Bay Hill to sign your toe card 65 hits and lead the pack. Even that of naturally assuming a bogey that could fall here or there (he signed it as soon as he began his round on the 10th hole, on the 11th). What was not ‘in the plans’ was that, in addition, he plugged in a pure twelve-meter eagle (hole 16), or that he made rather simple birdies in holes that are not so simple, such as 18 or 3. he has broken the rules, his rules, which is what they are for, to break them if your name is Rory and your last name is McIlroy.

There is a mandatory rule this week that he has rigorously respected, which is to take many fairways (he has only failed one clearly and he has also done so in a par 5, where he had room for manoeuvre; on two other occasions the failure was slight, almost good, going to a middle cut that does not hurt). Otherwise, in Bay Hill, with such rough protecting the fairways, it is impossible to reach such a record of 65 strokes. There is no humane way to do it, wow. Maybe McIlroy may not be the most consistent player off the tee, and we’ll see how he does in the three remaining days, but we all know what happens when his drive is balanced and his putter, at least, doesn’t get in the way too much (today, not only has hindered him, but has also been a valuable ally): that if he does not win, very little is missing.

Behind the Northern Irishman a group of four very interesting players has been placed, although at the moment all of them are looking for Rory with binoculars, as they have signed cards of 68 shots, three behind the leader. They are Graeme McDowell, adam scott, Will Zalatoris and Sungjae Im. Particularly striking is the presence of G-Mac, also from Northern Ireland, who in his last seven appearances had missed six cuts. It may take more or less, but he gives the feeling that this man always finds a way to get back on track.

Bay Hill is behaving as expected. He can be generous with those who go through the site, but he harshly penalizes whoever gets distracted, especially from the tee. For example, sepp straka (+4), winner of the Honda Classic a few days ago, has suffered in his meat the rigor of the rough of the Florida course, after failing up to six fairways.

Live results from the Arnold Palmer Invitational