McIlroy two behind in Memphis
Rory McIlroy was pleased with his opening round at the St Jude Classic after bouncing back to form with a two-under-par 68.
The 23-year-old has struggled in recent times and missed the cut in his last three events but he looked in decent nick in Tennessee with four birdies and two bogeys during his first 18 holes. The Northern Irishman was not due to play in the event but added it to his schedule after an alarming dip in form at Sawgrass, Wentworth and the Memorial Tournament. He looked way off the pace in those three tournaments and failed to make the weekend by a considerable distance. But, with the US Open now just days away, the reigning champion sits two shots off the lead with every chance of challenging for the title over the weekend. The Holywood-born star has ripped up courses all around the world in the past couple of years and, while acknowledging that he still has work to do, the popular youngster insists it is a step in the right direction. "I felt like that was about the best round of golf I played in a while, though it could have been a lot better," he said. "The scoring doesn't look too good, so I am off to a decent start. There are a lot of good signs out there." The lead is shared by American duo Jeff Maggert and John Merrick with Jeff Overton and JJ Henry in a group of four players just a shot back. Graeme McDowell did not fare so well and will struggle to make the cut after posting an opening 75, while Padraig Harrington also found some form to match McIlroy's 68.