Published: 08:49 | 12/4/19

McIlroy aiming to cut out mistakes

Rory McIlroy is hoping for a clearer round after conceding he made too many simple errors during his opening one-over 73 at The Masters.

Bidding to complete the career Grand Slam, McIlroy endured a mixed round at Augusta National as his five birdies were cancelled out by six bogeys, including at the final two holes.

As he returned to the clubhouse the pre-tournament favourite was four strokes off the lead but this had increased to seven by the end of the day's play with Bryson DeChambeau and Brooks Koepka tied for the lead on six under.

Reflecting on his round, McIlroy admitted he should not have made as many errors as he did.

"The conditions weren't that difficult. I mean I felt the course was there. It's soft, there's not much wind and I made five birdies, that wasn't the problem. I just made too many mistakes. And that was the problem. And I'm making mistakes from pretty simple positions, just off the side of the green, and 17 and 18 were prime examples of that," McIlroy said.

"I've sort of been through it all here at this golf course, so it's fine. You know you're going to have chances and I can accept mistakes if I'm trying and it's not a mental error or I haven't got into bad places.

"So I can accept some mistakes, but six bogeys out there is a little too many and I'm just going to need to tidy that up over the next few days."

Tiger Woods, meanwhile, is three shots ahead of McIlroy after an opening 70 to leave him four off the pace heading into Friday's second round.

Chasing a fifth Green Jacket, Woods found himself in a share of the lead on three-under after birdies at 13 and 14 only to bogey the penultimate hole on his way to a 70.

"I feel very good. I feel like I played well and I controlled my golf ball all day. I've shot this number and won four coats, so hopefully I can do it again." Woods said.

"I did all the things I needed to do to post a good number. I drove it well, hit some good iron shots, and my speed was good on the greens.

"And it was tricky, the wind puffs up, it goes down, it switches directions, and it's typical of this golf course, it just kind of swirls out there and it's hard to get a read on the exactly what it's doing at all times.

"We still have a long way to go. I tee off late on Friday and the wind is supposed to be up, so I have my work cut out for me the rest of the week and so does everyone else."

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Getty Images/Kevin C Cox

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