IT was first blood to Rory McIlroy yesterday as he, Tiger Woods and Luke Donald took their opening steps in a season which promises so much.
McIlroy’s five-under-par 67 gave him a share of the lead with Swede Robert Karlsson at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, three strokes ahead of Woods who shot a bogey-free 70 for joint ninth place.
That was one stroke better than current number one Donald. McIlroy said: “Tiger definitely looked very good to me - he’s got the ball under control.”
Sergio Garcia’s first hole-in-one on the European Tour on the 186-yard 12th helped him to a one under par 71, while Worksop’s Lee Westwood shot an even par 72.