McIlroy’s just hit a blind approach on the second and comes up short – he’ll likely be out of this hole depending on how his playing partners get on.
Elsewhere, Brian Harman’s just found the green on the par 3 fourth hole.
The course looks like its started to firm up a little bit after a few days of play, but there is a little bit of coolness in the wind, meaning the ball might be starting to carry less, but will roll more.
This week, the Marco Simone course will play as a par 71 stretching, to an impressive 7181 yards, a pretty long distance, but one that the players will be used to.
For context, the Torrey Pines south course, the site of the 2021 US Open stretched to a whopping 7765 yards, one of the longest tracks on the PGA Tour, while Augusta National spans to around 7510 yards.
And it will be hard to score this weekend. The course is set up with three par 5s and four par 3s, with the players being welcomed onto the front nine by a trio of par 4s.
Combining the distance, the heat and the undulating terrain and this course is set to be a real caddie killer – there are plenty of hills and blind shots out there, so staying hydrated during the long days will be key.
The course starts with a 445 yard par 4, with the green being well-protected on the the first hole which dog legs slightly left. A good start will be needed, with players to face an enormous 506 yard par 4 on the second, one of the hardest holes out there, which challenges players with a dog leg left.
The first par 3 comes in at the fourth hole. Stretching to 188 yards, the pin placement here will be pivotal – with it set up down the left side of the green then players will have a much easier chance to score birdie or better.
A 302 yard par 4 follows to cap off the first five holes which will again present a good opportunity for those who can drive the green, but the challenge here is the body of water snaking its way along the front-left of the green.