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Rory McIlroy off to a good start as he chases glory in Shanghai

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Rory McIlroy tees off off at the HSBC Champions golf tournament

Rory McIlroy tees off off at the HSBC Champions golf tournament

AP

Rory McIlroy tees off off at the HSBC Champions golf tournament

Rory McIlroy and Matthew Fitzpatrick and put themselves in contention after the first round at the WGC Sheshan International Golf Championships in Shanghai.

A six-under-par 66 left Fitzpatrick in joint-third place, two shots behind home favourite Haotong Li, who held a lead of one after the opening round.

The 27th-ranked English golfer got off to a good start, with seven birdies and just one bogey in the first 18 holes.

Former world number one McIlroy was in a share of seventh after saying on Wednesday he wanted to end a four-year wait for a World Golf Championships victory.

Starting on the back nine, McIlroy mixed three bogeys and three birdies in an inconsistent start.

But five birdies in the nine holes after the turn, including four in a row from the second, left him five under, three off the lead.

France's Victor Perez was second, with South Korea's Sungjae Im and Australian Adam Scott alongside Fitzpatrick in third.

South Africa's Louis Oosthuizen provided the highlight of the first round with a hole in one at the sixth, his 15th hole, on his way to 10 under and a share of 10th.

PA Media