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McIlroy posts solid 71 in opening round of BMW PGA

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World number one, Rory McIlroy, says he is struggling with mental fatigue after a gruelling schedule during which he has played 280 holes since April 29. But he is the favourite at the BMW PGA Championship

World number one, Rory McIlroy, says he is struggling with mental fatigue after a gruelling schedule during which he has played 280 holes since April 29. But he is the favourite at the BMW PGA Championship

PATIENCE holds the key for Rory McIlroy to successfully defend his title in the five million euro ($5.56 million) BMW PGA Championship.

McIlroy, ranked No. 1 in the world, is struggling with mental fatigue after a gruelling schedule during which he has played 280 holes since April 29. All in all, a 1-under 71 in the opening round yesterday at Wentworth’s West Course rated as a pretty good return.

“Physically I’m all right,” McIlroy said. “I could feel myself getting a bit angry out there, which I haven’t been doing in the last few weeks. I just sort of need to stay in control of my emotions. If I’m a little tired or a little fatigued mentally, I’ll start to be hard on myself and start to get down on myself.

“It’s just acceptance of bad shots. That’s something I’ve been doing so well. Every time I’ve played well this year, I’ve been talking about how mentally good I’ve been in terms of acceptance and patience. I feel like my patience was sort of wearing thin out there today.”

McIlroy is in a run of five straight events that will culminate in next week’s Irish Open at Royal County Down in his native Northern Ireland. He isn’t just here because it’s the European Tour’s flagship event. McIlroy turns up with only one thing in mind these days.

“It’s a big event,” said McIlroy, 26, who won last weeks Wells Fargo Championship in Charlotte, N.C., two weeks after having


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