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Thursday, 21 February 2019
Rory McIlroy  (Getty Images)
Rory McIlroy (Getty Images)

Rory McIlroy was part of a seven way logjam at the top of the leaderboard as the first round of the WGC-Mexico Championship got under way at Chapultepec Golf Club.

The Northern Irishman made three birdies in his first six holes to get to three under alongside South African George Coetzee, Americans Billy Horschel, Dustin Johnson, David Lipsky and Xander Schauffele, and China's Li Haotong.

Thai Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Americans Patrick Cantlay and Matt Kuchar, Scotsman Russell Knox and England's Ian Poulter were then a shot off the lead.

Lipsky was quickly dialled in after going off the tenth and put his first three approaches to five, four and seven feet to get to three under.

Saudi International powered by SBIA champion Johnson also made a birdie-birdie-birdie start from the tenth to join the lead, making long putts on the tenth and 12th either side of getting on the green in two at the par five 11th.

Horschel birdied the tenth and 12th and added another gain on the 15th before Schauffele - playing his first European Tour event of the season after finishing fourth on last season's Race to Dubai Rankings Presented by Rolex - also hit the front.

After going birdie-bogey-birdie from the 12th, he put his second on the par five 15th to eight feet for an eagle.

Coetzee was out in the very first group of the day and he put approaches inside 12 feet to birdie the first and eighth before holing an 18-footer on the ninth to share the lead and turn in 32.

That leading group was ever-expanding and Li had made a spectacular start when he chipped in on the driveable par four first.

He then took advantage of the par five sixth to hit the front and he was soon joined by McIlroy.

The four time Major Championship winner sandwiched birdies on the par five 11th and 15th with an excellent approach into the 12th.

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1JOHNSON, DustinUSA18-21
2MCILROY, RoryNIR18-16
T3CASEY, PaulENG18-11
T3APHIBARNRAT, KiradechTHA18-11
T3POULTER, IanENG18-11
T6CANTLAY, PatrickUSA18-10

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