Mexico Championship: Mickelson and Westwood at the top

MEXICO CITY MEXICO- MARCH 02 Jordan Spieth reacts after just missing a birdie putt on the first hole green during the first round of the World Golf Championships Mexico Championship at Club de Golf Chapultepec

After sitting out since January with a stress fracture in one of his ribs, Rory McIlroy stepped to the 10th tee at the WGC-Mexico Championship, his first hole of the day.

The biggest surprise was Chapultepec, hosting the best players in the world at almost 7,800 feet.

Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy in action. But he was a victim of the thin air on the par-3 seventh when his 7-iron on the 235-yard seventh hole bounced hard and went all the way to the back of the green, leading to a three-putt bogey.

Battling a stomach issue, McIlroy's play certainly didn't reflect it as he shot a 3-under 68.

I've waited long enough to play.

"How I've responded the last couple of weeks, ramping up the practice and then playing my first full competitive round here, I didn't feel it at all so all is positive in that regard". The Golf Channel's Todd Lewis said that McIlroy had dinner Wednesday night with his parents and fiancee Erica Stoll, and also "played conservative" because of his stomach ache.




McIlroy missed further good chances as he parred in to remain on three under alongside Garcia, Wood and Pieters as well as American veterans Matt Kuchar and Pat Perez, with Maybank Championship victor Fabrizio Zanotti making up the seven-way share of seventh.

"It's been tough to miss all these weeks especially with DJ (Dustin Johnson) winning, Jordan (Spieth) winning, Rickie (Fowler) winning, Hideki (Matsuyama) winning, Justin (Thomas) winning".

But defending champion Adam Scott made only one par on a rollercoaster back nine and bogeyed the final two holes in a wayward 73, while Masters champion Danny Willett dropped five shots in a torrid seven-hole run to slump to a 76.

There was not such good news for European No.1 Henrik Stenson, the Open champion withdrawing with a reported stomach virus midway through the opening round.

"I actually enjoyed myself". That looked to be as good as ever. Putting anyone's beliefs or politics to one side for a minute, to go there and see 30 secret service and 30 cops and snipers in the trees, it was just a surreal experience for me to see something like that.

"I don't really want to tell you what I'm feeling right now", said McIlroy with only half a smile. It's a pleasure to play a golf course where your caddie doesn't hand you the driver walking off the previous green. He even sank an eagle on the sixth hole. "I have to do this for the rest of the three days". "But I haven't eaten so I'm a little weak".

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