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McIlroy plays through pain after first-round injury

Rory McIlroy played well enough under the circumstances to celebrate a few times during his round of par 70. The problem was, pumping his right fist was something he just could not do.

The U.S. Open champion from Northern Ireland struck a tree root while hitting a shot on the third hole, injuring his wrist so much that he wrapped it in ice between shots and had it taped up by a medical trainer during the round.

He said right after he finished that he was heading for an MRI on Thursday night. A statement issued by his management group ISM said: "The initial diagnosis shows that Rory has strained a tendon in his right wrist. He will obviously rest it tonight and he will see how it feels in the morning on the range."

He considered withdrawing during the round, as he felt pain every time he made contact (often following through with one hand).

"It's the last major of the year. I've got, what, six or seven months to the Masters? So I might as well try and play through the pain and get it over and done with," he said.

Attempting the shot in the first place might have been a mistake, reminiscent of the way young amateur Tiger Woods tried to slash his way out of Shinnecock Hills' rough during the 1995 U.S. Open and had to withdraw.

"I thought if I could make contact with the ball and just let the club go," McIlroy said, "I might get away with it. You know, in hindsight, it would have been better to chip out sideways.

"It was just like a sharp pain up the forearm, and then there's a little bit of swelling, just on the inside of my wrist. And then it was going up into my elbow and my shoulder."

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Shaun Micheel is back in contention after nearly walking away from the game earlier this year.

Micheel, who hasn't won since breaking through for his first career victory at Oak Hill in Rochester eight years ago, shot a 4-under 66 to move within three shots of leader Steve Stricker.

"It was just a great day," said Micheel, the 2003 PGA champion. "It really is."

After the death of his mother, Donna, last October, he said he lost some desire for tournament golf. He also began thinking about how playing was keeping him from his children, 7-year-old Dade and 4-year-old Marin.

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Jerry Kelly said his aggressive nature has gotten in the way of good golf too often -- and he's taking steps to avoid that at the PGA Championship.

Kelly finished with a 5-under 65, matching his lowest score ever at the PGA Championship. Kelly, who is two shots off the lead, has missed the cut in his past four PGA appearances.

Kelly acknowledged he always pushed too hard on the accelerator, even when the situation called for some brake.

"I'm trying to scale it back a little bit this week, consciously, and I did a fantastic job [Thursday]," Kelly said.