McIlroy posts 65 to take 1st-round lead at WGC-Mexico Championship

Rory McIlroy continued his torrid play Thursday, firing a 6-under 65 in Round 1 of the WGC-Mexico Championship.

The top-ranked player in the world eagled his second hole at Club de Golf Chapultepec and rode a hot putter the rest of the day to take an early two-shot edge over Bubba Watson and Justin Thomas.

McIlroy, who entered the week riding five straight top-five results worldwide, has now ended 14 of his last 15 PGA Tour rounds inside the leaderboard's top seven. He finished second to Dustin Johnson in Mexico City last season.

Thomas and Watson both shot 4-under 67s. Thomas had a chance to catch McIlroy but wasn't able to birdie each of his final four holes to do so.

Here's how the top of the leaderboard stands after Day 1:

Place Player To Par R1 Score
1 Rory McIlroy -6 65
T2 Bubba Watson -4 67
T2 Justin Thomas -4 67
T4 Louis Oosthuizen -3 68
T4 Billy Horschel -3 68
T4 Corey Conners -3 68
T4 Bryson DeChambeau -3 68

Patrick Reed, Paul Casey, and Hideki Matsuyama are in a three-way tie for eighth at 2-under par.

Johnson carded a shocking 5-over 76 in Round 1 to beat only four players and now sits tied for 62nd. He's won two of the three WGC events played in Mexico and had a scoring average of 67.08 over 12 rounds prior to Thursday.

Round 2 gets underway Friday at 12:03 p.m. ET. Here's the broadcast schedule for the remainder of the tournament:

Date Time (ET) Channel
Fri. Feb. 21 2-7 p.m. Golf Channel
Sat. Feb. 22 12-2:30 p.m.
2:30-6 p.m.
Golf Channel
Sun. Feb. 23 1-2:30 p.m.
2:30-7 p.m.
Golf Channel
McIlroy posts 65 to take 1st-round lead at WGC-Mexico Championship
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