Rory McIlroy was willing to celebrate even the smallest of victories Friday in the Cadillac Championship.
He finally broke par.
Mired in another slump, and this time with greater scrutiny over a new equipment deal and quitting in the middle of a round last week, McIlroy had a 3-under 69 on the Blue Monster at Doral for his first round under par this year.
When his 8-foot birdie putt on the par-5 10th hole swirled into the cup, the world's No. 1 player was under par for the first time all week on the Blue Monster. He rattled in three more birdies on the back nine and at one point he saw his mother, Rose, walking along in the gallery.
''I was like, `Oh my God, I'm in red numbers,' '' McIlroy said with a laugh. ''But you know, it's good. It's nice to shoot something in the 60s and definitely build on over the next couple of days.''
Now for the bad news. He's still 11 shots behind Tiger Woods, the 36-hole leader of this World Golf Championship.
Even so, there was a noticeable impr...