Rory McIlroy eyes charge up the leaderboard on day two of US PGA Championship
Rory McIlroy insisted he remains firmly in contention for a fifth major title despite a disappointing finish to his first round of the US PGA Championship.
McIlroy was two under par after 12 holes at Quail Hollow, a venue where he has won twice on the PGA Tour and holds the course record of 61.
But the 28-year-old then bogeyed the 13th and drove into the water on the 14th on his way to a double-bogey six, eventually signing for a one-over-par 72 to finish five shots off the pace.
McIlroy was either first or second after the opening round in each of his major victories to date, but said: "I 'm only five behind. It's a tough golf course. I shoot something in the 60s tomorrow, I move right up there. So yeah, I'm in it.
"F or a stretch of that round, I drove it really well. I was hitting the ball well. I could see birdies. I can see a low one out there. It's just a matter of not shooting yourself in the foot too often like I did today.
"It wasn't very easy. It was tough. The greens got very grainy as the day went on as well. If you just hit a putt a tiny bit off line, it exaggerated it. It was tough to hole putts this afternoon. Hopefully the surfaces are a little better tomorrow morning and we can hopefully hole some more putts.
"T he greens are as firm as I've ever seen at a PGA Championship. That makes things difficult. It (Quail Hollow) is definitely playing a few shots harder than it usually is and it's a major championship. It should be."