Newcastle - Rory McIlroy faces missing the cut for a second week in succession
after posting his worst European round in five years on day one of the
Irish Open on Thursday.
The world number one failed to record a
single birdie in a shock round of nine-over par 80 on a day of constant
wind along with intermittent showers at Royal County Down, Newcastle in
McIlroy's score left the four-time Major
Champion with the embarrassment of being last among the morning starters
while fellow PGA Championship and US Open winner Martin Kaymer, who
played alongside McIlroy, was only marginally better with a round of
McIlroy's score is his poorest in Europe since a similar score of 80 on day two of the 2010 Open Championship at St. Andrews.
the tee I felt my game was okay and I put myself in positions but then
as I got closer to the greens, the worse it got," said McIlroy.
didn't hit very many good iron shots and then from there my putting
wasn't that good with my speed off and I sort of just lost concentration
on the greens.
"So nothing went right and I was trying hard to birdie the last to try and break 80 but it just didn't quite happen."
McIlroy arrived home in Northern Ireland having missed the cut in last week's Tour flagship event at Wentworth.
while he was the defending champion last week, McIlroy's Irish Open
record is poor having missed the cut the previous two years.
McIlroy first contested the Irish Open in 2005 as a 16-year old and shooting a second round 81 to sit out the weekend rounds.
opening Royal County Down round was a mix of five outward bogeys,
including four in succession from his sixth hole, and four dropped shots
over his inward nine.
"I have just got to go out there tomorrow
and try my best and try and claw my way back into inside the cut-off
line and back into this tournament," he said.
also for the large crowds out there who followed us around this morning
as I wanted to play well not just for myself but all who were supporting
"I am not sure what score I am going to need to get into the weekend but I would love to be here for all four rounds.
hope my tournament is salvageable and that will be my goal starting off
tomorrow and try to make some early birdies, and my first birdie of the
tournament at some point."
England's Danny Willett, who was a
team-mate of McIlroy's in the 2007 GB & I Walker Cup side that went
down to a USA Team at Royal County Down, carded a two-under par 69 to
share the clubhouse lead with Denmark's Soren Kjeldsen.
Rickie Fowler, who has returned to Royal County Down for a first time
since being a member of the victorious USA Walker Cup team, carded a
very respectable level par 71.
Only four players among the 78 early round starters had managed to break par.