Dublin - World number two Rory McIlroy continued to wrestle with his game on Thursday, battling to a six-over par 78 in the first round of the US PGA Tour's Memorial tournament.
A week after he missed the cut at the European PGA Championship at Wentworth, and with the US Open at Merion a fortnight away, the two-time major champion acknowledged his game "just isn't all there at the minute."
"But I'm working hard and I'm trying to figure things out and hopefully they'll come around soon," McIlroy said.
McIlroy's day opened encouragingly enough, with a birdie at the par-four 10th at Muirfield Village.
He four-putted from 58 feet for a double-bogey at the par-three 12th, and bogeyed the next, adding two more bogeys before making the turn.
A birdie at the par-five fifth was sandwiched between bogeys at the second, third and seventh. He missed seven greens and needed 33 putts.
He had a four-footer for birdie at his final hole, but couldn't get it to drop.
"The last four weeks have been the same," said McIlroy, who has three top-10 finishes in his last four starts but has been unable to build any real momentum.
"I've missed a lot of short putts. It's probably lack of confidence more than anything else. And those are the sort of putts that are important to keep the momentum of the round going. And they're the putts that I'm not really making."
McIlroy, who has fielded questions this season about his switch to Nike equipment and in recent days about a rumored split with Dublin-based Horizon Sports to set up his own management company, said he was trying to stay patient.
"A few bad rounds of golf isn't going to ruin anything," he said. "But I don't really have many explanations for this."