WATCH: Rory McIlroy Holes Out For Eagle At Italian Open

 Rory McIlroy celebrates holing out for eagle at the Italian Open
Rory McIlroy celebrates holing out for eagle at the Italian Open

Rory McIlroy got off to a slow start at the Italian Open but a stunning hole-out eagle from the fairway at the 3rd (his 12th) got him to one-under-par for the day.

His wedge shot landed next to the pin on the par-4 and spun into the hole to kick-start his tournament, which he started as overwhelming favourite following a strong run of form throughout the summer.

Watch McIlroy's eagle:

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The Northern Irishman makes his first start in Italy as a pro this week at Marco Simone Golf and Country Club, venue for the 2023 Ryder Cup.

McIlroy is set to be one of the leaders on Luke Donald's side in Rome next year, and is one of a few big European names to be scouting out the course this week along with Matt Fitzpatrick and Viktor Hovland.

"It was really important to be here," McIlroy said. "Every other European Ryder Cup venue I've played, I've played before, whether it be in tournaments or I just wanted to get some prep.

"I wanted to get an early look at the golf course. I knew that I wouldn't be able to come back here next May and play because of the schedule and everything else, so this is my one opportunity to play. I wanted to be here. I wanted to come and have a look at the golf course and feel like I've got a little bit of a head start on everyone else in terms of The Ryder Cup for 2023.

"But it's not just about that. Look, it's great to play the golf course and great to play in competition, but I'm here to try to win a golf tournament, too. So trying to kill two birds with one stone this week."

McIlroy currently ranks 2nd in the world following his successful title defence at the Canadian Open in June, T5th at the US Open, 3rd at the 150th Open, FedEx Cup glory and a T2nd at last week's BMW PGA Championship.