Imagine carding a 65 and you only hit three fairways? That’s what Rory McIlroy did Thursday at Olympia Fields…
Rory McIlroy only hit three fairways on his way to carding an opening round 65 to tie the lead at the BMW Championship.
It was not a vintage McIlroy sort of day. The driver was not necessarily his friend on Thursday at Olympia Fields.
However, he said that there were advantages to not being in the fairway this week.
“I mean, only hitting three fairways today and coming up with 65 is a bit of a bonus,” the three-time FedEx Cup champ said.
“But with the golf course being so soft, it’s almost an advantage to be playing out of the rough going into some of these greens because you know the ball is not going to spin.
“I’m not saying I was trying to aim for the rough, but I was, I think, a lot of the tee shots I was just being super aggressive because I knew in the back of my mind I wasn’t really being penalized for it.
“The golf course is certainly not playing the way it played in 2020. That was not my approach a few years ago here. But hopefully with the wind and the sun, the golf course starts to firm up a little bit and starts to play a little bit more like how I think it should play.”
The soft conditions at the 2023 BMW Championship helped the four-time major champion on the opening day.
His five-under-par 65 tied for the lead alongside Champion Golfer of the Year Brian Harman.
His strategy though was not to be completely free with the driver, as the North Course at Olympia Fields does not warrant that mentality.
“There’s a few courses on Tour where you can sort of swing away at it and know if you miss the fairway you’re usually going to be okay,” McIlroy continued.
“It’s not as if — I rode my luck a little bit. I got decent lies in the rough, and from there I was able to get club on the ball and control my distance okay.
“Going into the next three days, I’d love to hit more fairways.”
Despite only hitting three fairways all day on Thursday, the Northern Irishman won’t be changing his plans for the rest of the week.
“I don’t lose a lot of confidence with the driver,” he added.
“One bad day is not going to make me lose any sleep.”
The BMW Championship is the second event of the FedEx Cup Playoffs. The PGA Tour season concludes next week with the Tour Championship at East Lake, a venue McIlroy has had plenty of success at.
What would you card around Olympia Fields if you only hit three fairways like Rory McIlroy? Can McIlroy go on to win a fourth FedEx Cup title? Let us know with a Tweet!