Sport Golf

Friday 23 March 2018

Rory's eastern adventure off to solid start

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.

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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