Rory McIlroy shoots first-round 66 at PGA Championship

Rory McIlory catches fire on the back nine to end up with a 66. (Getty Images)
Rory McIlory catches fire on the back nine to end up with a 66. (Getty Images)

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It looked like it was coming undone -- all of it, really.

After a front-nine 32 in which Rory McIlroy didn't play particularly well he started the back nine with a double bogey at the 10th and a bogey at the 11th.

"It was too good to be true," we thought of McIlroy potentially winning three straight tournaments and two straight majors. We'd had Good Rory for long enough, here comes Bad Rory.

Except Bad Rory left as quickly as he appeared and Good Rory birdied five of the last seven holes en route to a 66, one off the PGA Championship lead held by Ryan Palmer, Lee Westwood, and Kevin Chappell.

Rory McIlroy had it pretty easy on Thursday at Valhalla. (Getty Images)
Rory McIlroy had it pretty easy on Thursday at Valhalla. (Getty Images)

"I was really annoyed," McIlroy told TNT of his back nine start. "It sort of knocked me off track a little bit. To come back the way I did it was great, I really needed that. It could have been a couple better but 66 on the first day is a solid start."

Even with the 3 over start to his back nine, it could have been a whole lot better. McIlroy narrowly missed birdie putts on Nos. 16 and 17 and an eagle on No. 18 by about an inch.

"I know where my game is," McIlroy said. "I'm very confident with it. I'm really happy with everything. I try to read as little as possible. I have three more rounds to play and hopefully they're as good as they were today."

Here's a full look at his card:

It was a tremendous start for the best player alive right now. And with rain expected on Friday and possibly Saturday you'd have to think McIlroy will only get more dangerous with the slowed-down conditions.

Also, this seems good:

Yes, Rory McIlroy is locked and loaded and ready for the fourth major of his career and he's put himself in position to snag it.

Can he do it or will someone else steal the show? 

We have 54 holes to find out.

For more golf news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnGolf and @KylePorterCBS on Twitter or Google+ and like us on Facebook.

CBS Sports Writer

Kyle Porter began his sports writing career with CBS Sports in 2012. He covers golf, writes poetry about Rory McIlroy's swing, stays ready on Tiger watch and loves the Masters more than anyone you know.... Full Bio

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