"I don't know if I knew what to expect" - Rory McIlroy on taking the lead at Zurich Classic on his tournament debut

Zurich Classic of New Orleans  - Round One
Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry (Image via Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)

Rory McIlroy opened up about his experience of playing at the 2024 Zurich Classic of New Orleans. The sole team event of the PGA Tour began on Thursday, April 25, with McIlroy teaming up with his Ryder Cup teammate Shane Lowry and taking the lead in the game.

It was his first time playing in the tournament, and the Irishman was pretty impressive with his game. Team McIlroy and Lowry played the first round in a Four-ball format and settled for first place in a tie with Ryan Brehm/Mark Hubbard, Ben Kohles/Patton Kizzire, and Aaron Rai/David Lipsky with a score of under 11.

Speaking of his debut at the tournament, Rory McIlroy said (as quoted by PGA Tour):

"You know that you sort of need to get off to a good start, and thankfully we did. I don't know if I knew what to expect. I've watched this tournament a little bit over the years on TV, heard some good things from some of the players.
"It's nice to come here, team up with a really good friend, and if we play a good round tomorrow, it'll be awesome to be in contention for the weekend and try to get a win on the PGA TOUR with a friend beside me," he added.

The PGA Tour event will have its finale on Sunday, April 28. Although it's a team event, the tournament has a cutline after 36 holes, and only the top 33 and their ties will head for the concluding rounds over the weekend.

A quick recap of Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry's performance at the 2024 Zurich Classic

Team McIlroy and Lowry have been pretty impressive in the opening round of the 2024 Zurich Classic. They started the tournament with a birdie on the first hole.

It was an outstanding start to the game with four fabulous birdies in a row and then added two more on the seventh and eighth holes. McIlroy and Lowry maintained dominance on the back nine as well, carding five birdies to score under par 11.

The second round of the Zurich Classic is scheduled to take place on Friday, April 26, in a foursome format. Team Troy Merritt/Robert Streb will take the first shot of the day alongside team Roger Sloan/Josh Teater, starting the game at 9:20 a.m. ET on the first tee hole, while team Sangmoon Bae/S.H. Kim and team Alex Smalley/Matti Schmid will start on the tenth hole.

Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry will tee off on the tenth hole at 9:53 a.m. ET, alongside team Collin Morikawa/Kurt Kitayama. Matt Fitzpatrick and his brother Alex will also tee off on the tenth hole at 9:15 a.m. ET, alongside another sibling pairing of Nicolai and Rasmus Hojgaard.

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