McIlroy battles belly bug to contend in Mexico

McIlroy has played in just one event so far this year due to a rib injuryPA

McIlroy has played in just one event so far this year due to a rib injuryPA

Only it was his stomach, not his ribs.

As for his golf?

McIlroy could return to the top of the World Golf Rankings with victory at the WGC event in Mexico this week.

Lee Westwood (67) spoke about his "ballistic" ball after bogeying the final two holes to fall into a share of the lead with Ross Fisher, Jimmy Walker, Jon Rahm, Phil Mickelson and Ryan Moore.

Rory McIlroy: "The rib is fine".

"I'm definitely a bit weak".

"If I were him and I'd been through all what he has and the wins, you play to be competitive. I don't feel anywhere near as bad as I did in China a year ago when I had the same thing, so hopefully it's just a day thing and it will pass and I'll wake up feeling a bit better tomorrow". "But if someone has a chance to play in that scenario and just sort of experience the whole's not as if we were speaking foreign policy out there".

Henrik Stenson wasn't so fortunate.

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He was among half a dozen players tied for the lead in the elite event, being played in Mexico City for the first time after the loss of a title sponsor saw it moved from Trump National Doral in Miami. " ... It's a golf course you have to play quite conservatively". Seminole's Brittany Lincicome was 1 over.

"This is an incredible challenge for all of us because we're dealing with a great mixture of holes, but more than that dealing with distance control", the 46-year-old left-hander said.

'Looking at his press conference yesterday again, it dominated and in preparation for the Masters this is not a noise you really want to have, ' continued McGinley. "I think for him and his mind, once he gets back to that, he can start to look at playing".

The PGA Tour's latest foray into Mexico has produced a crowded leaderboard after one round. "I didn't put myself in a lot of trouble".

With a 368-yard drive, a 256-yard 4-iron and a 28-foot putt, McIlroy bounced off the green with an eagle on his scorecard.

Former world No. 1 Westwood was generally pleased with his performance, though he was punished a couple of times when his ball carried further than expected in the thin air, more than 2,200 metres above sea level.

That was about the time Walker reached 6 under with a birdie on the par-5 sixth hole. I scored poorly. I missed five putts inside four, five feet. Johnson's pain was on account of seven missed putts of 10ft or less.

No one has really noticed McIlroy missing because so many top players are winning. Jordan Spieth got back into the race for No. 1 when he won Pebble Beach.

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