McIlroy tees off at the third hole during the first round.
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Rory McIlroy won the opening skirmish of his much anticipated battle with Jordan Spieth by two shots in his first competitive outing of the year at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship Thursday.The world No. 3 from Northern Ireland posted a first round six-under par 66 to lie two shots behind American amateur Bryson DeChambeau (64) and one behind world No. 5 Henrik Stenson (65).World No. 1 Spieth, who uncharacteristically missed a couple of short putts, like McIlroy also made two bogeys in his round of 68 . Spieth, who won the Tournament of Champions on the PGA Tour a couple of weeks ago, needed six holes to make his first birdie, but then added six more.DeChambeau, the 22-year-old U.S. Amateur champion often called the "most interesting man in golf," was one-over after three holes, before making seven birdies and an eagle.
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