'Jet-lagged' McIlroy looks for improvement after opening round defence of Australian Open
Rory McIlroy got the defence of his Australian Open title under way with a two-under-par 69 that leaves him just one shot off the clubhouse lead.
The world number one, who edged out rival and home hope Adam Scott on the 72nd hole last year, was slightly off the pace on a cool and overcast morning at the Australian Golf Club in Sydney.
He was level par for his opening nine holes, where his birdie at the 14th was immediately given back at the next hole, but improved after the turn.
The 25-year-old birdied the first and picked up further shots at the fifth and ninth, in-between his second bogey of the day at the seventh, to move into a tie for second, one shot behind leader Aron Price, from the morning starters.
McIlroy admitted he feels he can improve as the week goes on and revealed he is still adjusting to the time difference.
"I feel like there's a better score out there for me," he said in quotes on the PGA Tour of Australasia's Twitter account.
"I'm feeling a bit jet lagged."
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