Rory McIlroy enjoyed a “pretty crazy 45 minutes” in the rain-delayed Hero Dubai Desert Classic as he completed a first round six under 66 on Friday.
Back on the seventh par three, his 16th, McIlroy hit a short birdie putt, made a 116-yard shot for an eagle, then birdied the ninth.
Patrick Reed scored the 18th to join McIlroy on six under with many players yet to complete their first round.
“It was extremely nice,” world number one McIlroy told BBC Sport.
McIlroy has been embroiled in Reed after ignoring the American at the practice field last Monday. Reed sarcastically threw a T-shirt in the Northern Irishman’s direction as he walked away.
But McIlroy confirmed that on Thursday morning he spoke to Reed, a member of the Saudi-backed LIV tour, at their hotel and informed him of the rain delay which cost the tournament six hours of play on the day of its opening.
“Ironically the first person I saw was Patrick Reed,” Mcilroy said.
“Look, it’s okay. It’s overkill and once the golf starts, it’s nice that we can all focus on birdies and bogeys and not the rest of the nonsense.”
McIlroy enjoyed the six shots he played to complete the three holes he had left in his first round. He picked up with a tricky birdie putt on court seventh and was grateful he chose not to play it on Thursday night.
“I was in two minds whether I should hit the putt or not, but I’m glad I didn’t,” he said. “It was getting dark and after I could read the putt properly this morning, I definitely would have missed that low putt last night.”
McIlroy then hit a wayward drive into hard desert sand on his penultimate hole before making a spectacular recovery.
“The tee shot I lost on the right, which I did a lot; that’s the fight I have right now,” he said.
“But the second shot was 116 yards up the hill, a bit downwind. It was a perfect 54 degree corner.
“On these lies I just have to make sure I get the shot. I tend to hit these heavy so once I knew I had the right shot I looked up and the ball was online, I knew it was going to be pretty good.
“I obviously didn’t think it would go in the hole and that was definitely a bonus.”
Reed, who missed the cut in Abu Dhabi last week, was delighted with his opening round which resulted in an eagle at par five 18th.
“Coming out this week and feeling like I was able to put everything together and have a clear mind on game planning and course management was definitely a plus,” golfer LIV said.
“I feel like I have full control of the golf ball and have made a few putts.”
The Friday morning resumption of the first round was delayed by two hours by new night rains. With a total of eight hours wasted in the unusual desert conditions, the tournament can stretch into a fifth day or be reduced to 54 holes – ironically the length used by the breakaway LIV tour.
“We can go on until Tuesday next week if we have to,” McIlroy smiled before adding pointedly, “I’m a fan of 72-hole golf, as you know.”
Swedish amateur Ludvig Aberg leads the club with seven under, with many players, including England’s Ian Poulter, still finishing their first rounds.