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Stone can shrug off disappointing start to chase down McIlroy

Rory McIlroy pinged the lids at Glendower Golf Club
1 of 1

Round two
Sky Sports 4 from 8am Friday
Rory McIlroy made an excellent start to the new year on Thursday, firing a five-under-par 67 in the first round of the BMW SA Open, cementing his position as clear tournament favourite.

Sky Bet went a stand-out 5-2 about McIlroy ante-post – the Northern Irishman was as short as 7-4 – and no bigger than evens was available after day one.

Andy Sullivan and Brandon Stone were second and third in the pre-tournament betting, but both made a poor start at Glendower Golf Club. Sullivan carded a six-over-par 78 and looks likely to miss the cut, while Stone missed a tiddler on the 18th for a round of 74.

McIlroy and Stone join George Coetzee in the 10.10am (UK and Ireland time) second-round threeball today, and Stone looks a big price to avenge his Thursday defeat. The classy South African youngster did not do a lot wrong in round one and suffered some bad breaks.

Defending champion and Alfred Dunhill victor Stone carded an 11-under-par 61 in practice at Glendower on Monday and is bursting with form and confidence. It would be a shock if he failed to go under par for a second consecutive round.

Recommendation
B Stone
1pt 11-4 general

The classy South African youngster did not do a lot wrong in round one and suffered some bad breaks
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