The former champion was left with something of a mountain to climb towards the end of the day
Rory McIlroy says he was pleased with his opening round of 69 on day one of The Open at Royal Troon in Scotland.
The former champion told Sky Sports that he took confidence from the composure he showed to bounce back from a double bogey on the 13th followed by a bogey shot on the 14th.
This bump in momentum followed a strong performance on the front nine, in which he reached four under par after eight holes.
He began his recovery with a birdie on the 15th which teed him up to finish the day on two under and leave him six shots of the American leader Phil Mickelson.
Reflecting on the opening round, McIlroy said:
"I felt that 10 and 11 were probably two of the hardest holes on the course, but I felt that I negotiated those pretty well and I actually hit two of the best shots all day on 13 and ended up taking six so that was disappointing.
"I think that stayed with me on 14, but to bounce back with a birdie on 15 was good. It would have been nice to pick up one in the last three, but as I said something in the 60s was a solid start."