Rory McIlroy reckons the PGA Tour have found their next superstar

PGA Tour star Rory McIlroy made a solid start to the Cognizant Classic at The Palm Beaches but he was more impressed with Jake Knapp's game.

Rory McIlroy reckons the PGA Tour have found their next superstar
Rory McIlroy reckons the PGA Tour have found their next superstar

Rory McIlroy says Jake Knapp has the potential to become a superstar in the game after making a strong start to the Cognizant Classic at the Palm Beaches

This event, previously known as the Honda Classic for 40 years, is one that McIlroy ordinarily skips. 

But in the build up to the Masters, the Northern Irishman is attempting to play more golf in the hopes he can finally complete the grand slam in April at Augusta National. 

Here, McIlroy opened with a 4-under 67. His round was spoiled with a solitary bogey on No. 8 at PGA National. 

"Probably could have been a couple of shots better," McIlroy told reporters. "But overall a decent start."

McIlroy added circles to his scorecard with birdies at 10, 17, 18, 3 and 6.

He started on the back nine and was paired with Knapp and defending champion Chris Kirk


Knapp claimed his maiden victory on the PGA Tour at the age of 29 at last week's Mexico Open

McIlroy believes that Knapp, who fired a 3-under 68, could make it to the very top. "He could definitely be a star," McIlroy said.  

"It looks like he's got the full package. He's obviously got the speed.

"He can control that speed pretty well. He hit some beautiful shots out there today. Looks like his short game is pretty good.

"He's got charisma and like we had a good chat out there for a lot of the round.

"He's in good shape, and he -- if he keeps playing the way he is, he's the full package. He could be a superstar out here for sure."

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For his part Knapp said it wasn't as nerve-wracking as he thought it would be playing alongside McIlroy. 

"I met him this morning in dining and had some casual conversation, and he's a super, super nice guy," he said.  

"So is Chris [Kirk]. It was just a good easy morning."

Chad Ramey held the lead after 18 holes here at 7-under. 

A cluster of players are one behind. That group includes the likes of Billy Horschel and Cameron Young

Shane Lowry is also in the mix and carded the same score as McIlroy in round one. 

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