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McIlroy sits 5 strokes back in France

(AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)

SAINT-QUENTIN-EN-YVELINES, France (AP) In the midst of drastic changes to his swing, Rory McIlroy shot a level-par 71 at the French Open to lie five shots off the lead held by Lucas Bjerregaard after the first round on Thursday.

McIlroy, currently in the spotlight because of his decision to skip the Olympics over concerns about the Zika virus, had four birdies and four bogeys around L'Albatros course at the Le Golf National, the 2018 Ryder Cup host.

"I've got about four or five swing thoughts out there at the minute," the fourth-ranked McIlroy said, "so that's why I'm sort of happy with 71."

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Money Leaders: European
Rank Player Earnings
1 D.Willett €3,148,283
2 R.McIlroy €1,991,850
3 L.Oosthuizen €1,655,474
4 C.Wood €1,549,495
5 R.Cabrera Bello €1,533,151
6 H.Stenson €1,497,713
7 B.Grace €1,282,369
8 L.Westwood €1,141,403
9 S.Lowry €952,716
10 M.Fitzpatrick €847,768
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