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Rory McIlroy is a three-way tie for lead at Hero World Challenge

Rory McIlroy is a three-way tie for lead at Hero World Challenge

2021-12-02 23:36:06 GMT+00:00 - Rory McIlroy, Daniel Berger, and Abraham Ancer shot 6-under 66 Thursday to take the first-round lead at the Hero World Challenge in Albany, Bahamas.

A field of 20 of the world's top golfers is competing at Albany Golf Course at an event organized by Tiger Woods to support his organization, the TGR Foundation.

Webb Simpson, Justin Thomas, and Brooks Koepka are among the top five stars behind the trio.

McIlroy, the four-time major champion from Northern Ireland, recovered from a double-bogey at the par-5 ninth hole by making two straight birdies before an eagle 2 at No. 14 from off the green.

He shot a 31 on the back nine and finished with six birdies on the day.

"I think I played the par-5s in even par. Five par-5s here, I should be taking care of those," McIlroy added. "I'm going to need to do these three days."

Mexican's Ancer rose to 66 by rolling five birdies on his back nine.

"I'm happy with pretty much everything in my bag," Ancer said. "I feel like I hit it well off the tee, but iron play was pretty decent as well, but perhaps the highlight was definitely my putter. I rolled it nicely today."

Berger opened his round with four straight birdies and added a fifth at No. 7 to go out in 31. He added an eagle at the par-5 11th hole to reach 7 under and at one point held a three-stroke lead before a 1-over finish from there.

Berger secured its first competitive round since fitting up for Team USA in his Ryder Cup triumph in September.

"I took a little over a month from golf. Didn't touch a golf club," Berger said, "and slowly started boosting it up." I've been playing more golf here and there in the last two or three weeks, and then the last 10 days I played every day, I've been playing really well.

"It's just hard when you haven't played competitively to kind of get back in the rhythm of things," he explained, but obviously I got off to a good start, and then that made it easier."

Thomas reached seven under for his round late in the day with a stretch of three birdies at Nos. 14-16, but a double bogey on the last hole sent him down to the tie for fourth.

Tony Finau, Patrick Reed, Collin Morikawa, and Norway's Viktor Hovland are tied for seventh at 4-under 68.

--Field Level Media --Field Level Media --Field Level Media

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