Akshay Bhatia Leads Texas Open with Stellar Opening Round; Rory McIlroy Trails by Six

Akshay Bhatia has stormed into the lead at the Texas Open with an impressive nine-under-par 63 in the opening round, establishing a three-shot advantage over his closest competitors at the Tournament Players Club in San Antonio.

Rory McIlroy’s most recent victory in a major was the 2014 PGA Championship

Fellow Americans Brendon Todd and Justin Lower find themselves tied for second place after posting solid performances in the challenging conditions.

Meanwhile, Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy sits six shots behind the leader after carding a bogey-free 69 in his final tournament before The Masters next week.

Reflecting on his round, McIlroy expressed satisfaction with his performance, particularly given the volatility he has experienced in his game recently. Despite the challenging conditions, McIlroy managed to make three birdies, including a notable 13-foot putt on the par-five eighth hole.

McIlroy attributed some of his recent improvements to his work with Butch Harmon, Tiger Woods’ former coach, who provided him with valuable insights and adjustments to his game.

Speaking about his collaboration with Harmon, McIlroy mentioned, “He gave me a tiny little something that I went with. It’s felt a little better over the last two weeks and felt pretty good out there.”

Meanwhile, Scotland’s Martin Laird, along with Englishmen Tommy Fleetwood and Matt Fitzpatrick, find themselves eight shots off the lead, posting scores of one-under-par.

As the tournament progresses, all eyes will be on Bhatia as he looks to maintain his momentum and secure victory at the Texas Open. Conversely, McIlroy will aim to close the gap and fine-tune his game ahead of The Masters, where he will undoubtedly be among the top contenders.

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