Sunday 4 December 2016

Rory's eastern adventure off to solid start

Published 07/10/2011 | 05:00

Rory McIlroy. Photo: Getty Images
Rory McIlroy. Photo: Getty Images

Rory McIlroy's odyssey to the Far East opened in relatively impressive fashion yesterday at the Kolon Korean Open, a OneAsia Tour event.

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McIlroy will play nine events in the next 10 weeks, seven in Asia, as the 'wheelbarrow season' gets into full swing.

The game's biggest names often command hefty six-figure fees for boosting the international profile of events with their presence.

For example, when McIlroy posted a first-round 68 early yesterday in Seoul to claim a share of third, one shot behind joint- leaders YE Yang and American Rickie Fowler, it brought worldwide attention to the Korean Open and, of course, its sponsors.

After Korea, McIlroy goes to next week's China Golf Challenge, a seven-day, seven-city whirl around that vast country with Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter and Chinese No 1 Liang Wen-Chong.

The Ulsterman will then compete in the Shanghai Masters (October 27-30), followed by the HSBC Champions (Nov 3-6) in that vast port city before teaming up with Graeme McDowell to represent Ireland in the World Cup (Nov 24-27) at Mission Hills in China.

Thornton maintains Challenge momentum

SIMON THORNTON'S bid for European Tour playing credentials continued apace yesterday as he opened with a solid three-under-par 69 for a share of 19th place at the Allianz Golf Open de Lyon.

Thornton, No 14 on the Challenge Tour money list with €62,000 banked in nine events, was four shy of leader Craig Lee of Scotland. Colm Moriarty and Niall Kearney both opened at Golf du Gouverneur with level-par 71s.

Irish Independent

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