US Open champion Rory McIlroy closed with a bogey six to card a three under 68 and finish a stroke behind leaders Ricky Fowler and YE Yang after the first round of the OneAsia Tour’s Kolon Korea Open.

The 22-year old world No 3 fired seven birdies, two bogeys and a double bogey six at Woo Jeong Hills Country Club as Fowler and former US PGA champion Yang hit 67’s. Click here for scoring.

McIlroy raced to the turn in 33 following birdies at the first and par-five fifth and eighth holes. But he came home in level par 35 as he followed a bogey at the 10th and a double bogey six at the 11th, where he found water. 

He bounced back with birdies at the 12, 14th, 15th and 17th before that closing bogey at the par-five 18th.

“I felt like I played well. I started nicely and I was three under through nine holes, but I had a bad couple of holes on the back nine at 10 and 11 with a bogey and a double bogey,” he said.

“I did well from there to birdie four of the next six holes to get back to four-under-par, but then I was disappointed to bogey the last. But overall, it is a good start and something to build on.

“The shot on 11 was just a bad shot, while on 18 the wind just grabbed it. I was aggressive, but I want to play aggressively.”

Fowler also had a pair of sixes on his card as he bogeyed the par-five eighth and 18th holes. However, the American world No 36 had six birdies on his card as he set the clubhouse target with a 67.

Yang birdied the last to join him in top spot but McIlroy’s bogey relegated him to a share of third with Korean amateur Soo-min Lee and compatriot Soon-sang Hong.