Rory McIlroy trails teen rival Ryo Ishikawa by a shot after a first round comeback in the Kolon Hana Bank Korea Open.

Rory's new Twitter image was produced by Is he a new gay icon we wonder?The Holywood native, 20, matched New Zealand young gun Danny Lee when bounced back from three over after eight holes to card a level par 71 at Woo Jeong Hills Country Club near Seoul.

Twittering from Korea, McIlroy wrote: "3 over thru 8 but finished at even so a pretty good come back even tho i bogeyed the last! but only 4 behind so still in good shape!"

Japanese sensation Ishikawa, 17,  snatched one of McIlroy's records this week when his fifth Japan tour win made him the youngest player to break into the world's top 50.

Ranked 47th and picked by Greg Norman as a wildcard for the Presidents Cup matches against the US next month, Ishikawa carded a 70 to trail the leaders by three shots.

Five players, including Australia's Michael Wright, fired four under par 67s to set the pace in the $800,000 tournament.

Despite the fact that he's third in the Race to Dubai standings, McIlroy decided to skip this week's Mercedes Benz Championship in Cologne to beef up his profile in Asia.

Starting on the back nine, McIlroy bogeyed the 10th, 13th and 15th  but birdied the third, fifth and sixth coming home before a bogey at the ninth left him tied for 27th after the opening day.