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Rory McIlroy enjoyed a mixed day on the greens on his way to a one-under-par 71 to leave him five shots off the lead at the World Golf Championships - Cadillac Championship.
McIlroy is experimenting with a new putting technique - with his left hand below the right on the grip - and it looked to be paying dividends as he birdied the tenth, 12th, 15th and 17th after starting on the tenth.
There were also bogeys at the 13th and 18th as the Northern Irishman reached the turn in two-under-par. A fifth birdie on the first got him back to three-under but he found the water on the ninth on his way to a double-bogey for an opening round 71.
Reflecting on his day's work, McIlroy said: "My speed wasn't too good on the greens. I was leaving a lot of putts short.
"But I guess that's to be expected. It's the first day competitively with a bit of a new grip. But I felt like it was pretty good."
Scott Piercy looked set to hold the outright lead after the opening day but a bogey on the last say him drop into a share of the lead alongside Marcus Fraser.
They are one clear of Phil Mickelson, with Danny Willett, Adam Scott, Jason Dufner and Charley Hoffman in a share of fourth on four-under.
World number one Jordan Spieth, playing alongside McIlroy and Jason Day, is three shots off the lead after an opening 69 to sit in a tie for eighth with Jimmy Walker and Bubba Watson.
Spieth picked up five birdies but two bogeys meant he had to settled for a three-under round.
"It was nice to try and get into a rhythm together because the last few weeks have been a little rough on all three of us," he told Sky Sports.
"I've been doing quite a bit of work. I don't feel great about the way I am striking the ball. I'm working really hard trying to develop patience through my swing and get into my right side. I have been transitioning a little quick and that leads to a shorter swing and more inconsistent ball striking."