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Home McIlroy opens 2013 over par

An opening round of 75 at the HSBC Championship had the media in Abu Dhabi quizzing Rory McIlroy about his start to the 2013. “I'm disappointed. I felt like I could have played better. I could have shot a better score,” the world’s #1 said afterwards. Inquiring minds immediately asked about his new equipment choices with respect to his opening score. 

“Of course it does (takes time to get used to new equipment) but really happy with the way the ball is in the wind. Really happy with the irons, the wedge play. I wasn't very comfortable off the tee but just because I didn't feel like I was swinging it that well. For the most part I was very happy with everything. I just have to work on a couple of things,” he said. “ I didn't drive the ball particularly well which you sort of need to around here because the rough is very thick. You really need to drive it in the fairway to make the score. I just feel like I can release this driver (VR_S Covert) a lot more. But overall, it was pretty good, and still getting used to the feel and everything.”

McIlroy isn’t hitting any panic buttons based on his opening round score. “A bit of rust, for sure. Not playing any competitive golf for eight weeks. I guess when you're going out with new stuff, you're always going to be a little bit anxious and you're going to hit it close like you've done you on the range and today that wasn't quite the case. Hopefully I can do that tomorrow,” he said. “I have four weeks off after this tournament just to work on it. You know, I feel like if I can just get comfortable and swing it a little better, I can still play some good rounds here,” he added.

Wholesale changes often come with scrutiny but it will be interesting to see whether McIlroy’s equipment choices are questioned once he posted a low round! “Hopefully I can play a little better tomorrow,” he said in closing.