McIlroy one shot off the pace at Valhalla with Westwood leading
After day one, Rory McIlroy is still favourite to win the US PGA Championship and add to his Open Championship victory. Having started at 5/1, his odds have shortened significantly to 19/10, following an impressive showing from the Northern Irishman, who is currently one shot off the pace at five under par.
Overnight leader at six under, Lee Westwood, is now 14/1 to win his first ever major, however with McIlroy in the form of his life, pressure may well get the better of him.
“I’ve played better rounds of golf but I was really pleased with today,” said Westwood, after completing the first 18 at Valhalla.
“I’ve started to feel like my swing was coming around. That 63 obviously gave me some confidence coming into this week.”
Sadly, defending champion Jason Dufner had to withdraw after 10 holes with a neck injury, recording a score of eight over par.
Meanwhile McIlroy’s performance exemplified a maturity that the 25-year-old has developed over the last year. Any golfer that shoots a double-bogey followed by a bogey would, most of the time lose confidence, though he remained calm, keeping his composure to bounce back in style. He carded four straight birdies between holes 12 and 15, and just missed out on a long eagle putt at the last.
“I was really annoyed,” McIlroy said regarding his shot at the 10th which went out of play.
“It was actually a bit of a shock, it’s the worst shot I have hit the last few weeks. It came out of the blue and knocked me off track but to come back the way I did was great.
“It could have been a couple better but if those last few putts had dropped but 66 is a solid start.”
Other contenders include McIlroy’s training partner Rickie Fowler at 22/1 who is two under par, while current second favourite is Henrik Stenson at 7/1, who is tied with McIlroy.
*Please understand that the prices change as play gets underway. All odds were correct at time of publishing*