PGA Tour news: Gary Woodland and Trey Mullinax share first-round CJ Cup lead

Gary Woodland and Trey Mullinax are at the top of a packed leaderboard after the opening round of The CJ Cup on Thursday.

The Americans signed for a pair of six under 65s around the Congaree Golf Club in Ridgeland, Mississippi, enough for a one stroke lead over six players on five under.

Hot on their heels are the in form Tom Kim and Rory McIlroy, who is hoping to regain the world number one ranking this week. The pair played together on Thursday and only had polite things to say about each other.

"He makes this game look so easy," Kim said of McIlroy, as per pgatour.com.

"It was really hard to just kind of play my own game sometimes, seeing the lines he took. It was like 380 (yards) to the runout and he was saying, 'Sit!' I was like, 'Really? Like sit?' But he almost made it."

Meanwhile, McIlroy was impressed by the 20-year-old Kim.

"He didn't really miss a shot out there," quipped McIlroy.

"He's a very, very solid player, plays to his strengths. Makes the same swing at it pretty much every time. He was sort of picking my brain a little bit out there about speed training and I'm like, 'No, no, no, no.' I think as he gets older and maybe a touch stronger, he'll get that naturally."

McIlroy was ranked 14th in the world before his victory in Las Vegas last year, but has since recorded two further wins and 12 other top-10 finishes to get within striking distance of world number one Scottie Scheffler.

Scheffler tried to hold off McIlroy, switching putters but had two birdies and two bogeys for a 71.

Rickie Fowler, who had the 54-hole lead in Japan last week, fell back early when he four-putted from 20 feet on the fourth hole. He had a 74.

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