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Healthy Rory McIlroy content with 'solid' start at US PGA Championship

Rory McIlroy insists his ankle caused him no issues after what he described as a solid opening round at the US PGA Championship.

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Rory McIlroy insists his ankle caused him no issues after what he described as a solid opening round at the US PGA Championship.

The world number one carded a one-under 71 at Whistling Straits to be five shots behind leader Dustin Johnson on Thursday.

McIlroy is making his first appearance since rupturing ankle ligaments in July, but he was content with his efforts in the first round.

Asked how his ankle felt post-round, McIlroy said: "Fine, just as it is walking 18 and practising. The exact same, no different.

"As you can see out there, the way I'm hitting the ball and the way I'm getting around the golf course, I have full confidence in it. It doesn't bother me one bit."

McIlroy mixed four birdies with three bogeys during his round, including producing a five at the par-four 18th.

The Northern Irishman said he was aiming for a round in the 60s, but he was nonetheless happy.

"I felt it was good. It was a solid round of golf. Happy with the way I struck the ball," McIlroy said.

"Obviously I was pretty nervous on the first tee. It was just getting back there, it was nice to get that opening tee shot out of the way.

"It wasn't the best of starts, but to hit those two shots on the second hole and make birdie, that sort of settled me down and I could get into the round.

"But I think anything under par this afternoon was a decent score. I set myself a target going into the back nine. I knew there would be a few chances, so I thought trying to shoot something under 70 was realistic.

"I sort of had a chance to do that after birdieing the 16th. I missed a good chance there on 17. Unfortunate bogey on the last, I guess.

"I just hit a three-iron and held it up a little bit too much into the wind and leaked it right. But as I said, anything under par today is a good score, or this afternoon, anyway, is a good score."

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