McIlroy holed an eagle putt from just outside 10 feet on the par-5 16th at Caves Valley on his way to an eight-under 64, giving him a share of the lead with Jon Rahm and Sam Burns on Thursday.
Three days after heaving his 3-wood over the fence on his final hole at Liberty National, McIlroy used his new club – an old 3-wood he found in his garage – to smash a 285-yard shot up the hill and over a bunker that set up his eagle putt to move into a share of the lead.
McIlroy hasn’t opened with a score this low since a 64 at the Tour Championship last year, and that’s where he’s trying to return. He is No.28 in the FedExCup, and only the top-30 after the BMW Championship make it to East Lake.
“I’ve went through playoff stretches before where you’re always in that lead group. You’re either 1, 2 or 3 in the FedExCup, and that can sort of take its mental…