Rory McIlroy, Tom Kim put on show at CJ Cup, 1 off lead

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RIDGELAND, S.C. — Tom KimI felt as much as a spectator Thursday in the CJ Cup, and was amazed at how it turned out. Rory McIlroyProduces so much power with so little effort.

Kim was not too bad.

They were the main attractions at Congaree Golf Club on a beautiful day. One of them was chasing the No. They were the star attractions at Congaree Golf Club, one of them pursuing the No. 1 ranking in the world, the other a 20 year-old who is quickly becoming a more popular player among his peers.

Trey MullinaxFormer champion of the U.S. Open Gary WoodlandEach player had a 6-under 65. McIlroy was joined by Kim in the same group. Rickie Fowler, were among those who had another shot at 66.

Kim, who was the first player to win since 2000 in Las Vegas two weeks ago, said that Kim makes this game look so simple . Tiger WoodsTwo PGA Tour titles before turning 21. It was hard to just play my own game sometimes, looking at the lines he took. It was almost 380 [yards]He was saying, Sit! to me during the runout I was like,?Really? Like, sit? He almost made it.

Obviously, the most important thing to me today was to try to play my own game without looking at his lines. It was still so much fun.

McIlroy was also impressed by Kims young age and how polished she plays.

They were able to match birdies throughout the day in many different ways. McIlroy was able to hit a 360-yard drive on the par-5 4th hole. He then hit a fairway metal right through the green. Kim was 50 yards behind McIlroy at the tee, 64 yards away from the hole, and then he smashed a wedge through a bunker to 7 foot for birdie.

McIlroy really displayed his driving skills on the 366 yard 15th, which has sand and water running along the right side. He drove his drive right onto the front green, even though he was already in the back. Jon RahmAnd Justin ThomasThe group before were putting.

McIlroy stated that the longer I stood over that tee shot the more likely it was that it was that I was going lay up so McIlroy just had to get up and hit it. I had to go, regardless of whether they were on the green.

McIlroy accepted some apologies.

Thomas said, He wasnt going to fly it onto the green. It was never going hit us. We are just jealous. I wish I could have found the green.

McIlroy must win in order to reach No. McIlroy was ranked No. 1 in the world for the ninth consecutive time in his career. He started well with a round that was bogey-free.

Kim was one step ahead, firing at pins using his excellent iron play and not getting quite as much with his putter. He was tied for the lead when he pulled his 18th tee shot, but he had to play short on the water and miss an 8-foot par.

McIlroy stated, He didn’t really miss any shot out there. McIlroy said that McIlroy is a solid player who plays to his strengths. He makes the same swing every time. He was kind of picking my brain about speed training and I was like, No. Hell naturally get faster as he gets older, maybe stronger.

I was like: Dont go down this path, you are good just the way you have been.

Mullinax and Woodland were the best of the 78-man field. Both managed three birdies in a row. Mullinax was already 7-under through 12 holes when his birdies dried. Woodland finished with two birdies.

However, not everyone can afford it.

Scottie SchefflerThe No. McIlroy was the No. 1 player since March. McIlroy tried to keep him at bay so he switched putters. He had two birdies and two pars, but nothing to show for it.

Jordan SpiethHe shot a 75 and had a round that included a triple-bogey and a miss from 16 inches. Spieth attempted to backhand his short par putt at the 16th, but it missed the hole. This was the lowlight of a otherwise difficult start to his season.

Fowler, who was leading in Japan by 54 holes last week, fell back when he putted four from 20 feet on the fourth. He shot a 74.

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