'Lost' Rory McIlroy is off the pace at Irish Open
Thursday 27 June 2013
Rory McIlroy's desperate search for form before The Open next month was again fruitless as he struggled to a two-over-par 74 in the first round of the Irish Open at Carton House, County Kildare.
McIlroy, who carded two birdies and four bogeys including one at the last, said on Wednesday that he had felt "suffocated" by the affection shown him by thousands of fans at recent Irish Opens but he was still determined to enjoy himself.
The world No 2 said he felt "a little lost at the moment" but promised there would be none of the club-throwing or club-bending antics which marked his indifferent showing at the US Open two weeks ago.
"It definitely wasn't the right thing to do," McIlroy said when asked about his tantrums in his final-round 76. "It doesn't set a good example.
"Something I've felt in a couple of Irish Opens is suffocated, having that burden and pressure and expectation. But the last couple of years I've tried to embrace the whole week, enjoy it and turn all that support into an advantage," he said.
The twice major champion's form has dipped alarmingly this year. In the last five months of 2012 he won four tournaments and rose to the top of the rankings but after changing his club manufacturer he has recorded just one top-five finish in 12 events this year.
At Carton House, McIlroy lies eight shots adrift of the leader, Sweden's Oscar Floren, whose flawless round of six-under-par 66 included four birdies and an eagle.
Latest in Sport
Manchester United transfer news and rumours: David De Gea could leave for FREE; £37m bid for Mats Hummels; £38m for Marquinhos
Phil Neville and his fellow Match of the Day pundits given warning by the BBC after 'smash them' comment
Gabriel Paulista: Talented Brazilian could grow into world-class defender at Arsenal
Tottenham player ratings: Christian Eriksen? Harry Kane? Who was the star man at Bramall Lane?
Andy Murray vs Tomas Berdych - LIVE! Australian Open semi-final latest as Murray wins after losing first set
- 4 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
- 5 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures