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    McIlroy gets strong start to 2017 with opening 67 at SA Open



    6:06 a.m. ET Jan. 12, 2017

    JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Rory McIlroy made an impressive start to 2017 with a new set of clubs, shooting a 5-under 67 in the first round at the SA Open on Thursday.

    Making his first appearance at the tournament since 2008, McIlroy rolled in seven birdies — including four straight from Nos. 14-17 after starting at the 10th — to put himself a shot off the lead held by Trevor Fisher Jr. after the morning starters.

    With Nike announcing last year it would no longer be making golf clubs and balls, the second-ranked McIlroy has been testing out new woods, irons and a putter from other manufacturers and said his new bag “is working pretty well.”

    “I’m sure as I get accustomed to them — I mean, it’s nice to play my first competitive round and play like this — I’ll get even more dialed in, and chop and change a little bit,” McIlroy said.


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