It was in the first round of last year's PGA when McIlroy attempted a recovery off a tree root, injured his wrist, and nearly withdrew. His major championship record hasn't been pretty since, with the 23-year-old McIlroy imploding on the weekend at the Masters, missing the cut in the U.S. Open, and hardly factoring at the British Open. Now the Northern Irishman appears to be emerging from the first trying period of his young career. After a T-5 finish at Firestone, McIlroy seized on calm conditions Thursday morning to post a bogey-free 67. Even better news? Tree roots are scarce at Kiawah.