Published: Fri, July 19, 2019
Sport | By Ruben Hill

Rory McIlroy makes nightmare start at Portrush with first-hole quadruple-bogey

Rory McIlroy makes nightmare start at Portrush with first-hole quadruple-bogey

Goodbye to the Tiger of old.

The three-time victor said he was heading to get some treatment but vowed to be on the tee for his second round early on Friday morning. "I'm not 24 any more". Life changes, life moves on. "Regular tournaments, I don't practice". Those days are gone, OK?

"It's brilliant. It's the first time I've been to a golf event like this".

"I have to be realistic about my expectations and hopefully peak at the right time".

He talks about how meaningful this weekend is to him and to his home country.

There is a group of 13 players in the clubhouse just two strokes off the lead on three-under, including world number one Brooks Koepka and Spaniard Jon Rahm.

"He just tells me where to hit it and I go from there", Koepka said of Elliott. It doesn't mean he can't tie or break Jack Nicklaus' record of 18. He has been runner-up twice and won the PGA Championship this year.

The 2011 Open champion revealed, "I'd been setting up one of the bars".

Fast-forward to 2019 and the British Open is back on the links that McIlroy brought to its knees all those years ago.

The citizens of Northern Ireland aren't the only ones ecstatic for The Open's return. Clarke made three birdies in his first five holes before carding level-par 71. It's the sixth time in a major championship that he's shot 79 or worse in the opening. It's the first time McIlroy's Northern Ireland homeland has hosted the tournament since 1951, the flawless place for the world's No. 3-ranked golfer - and pretournament favorite - to snap his five-year majors drought. Woods' only consolation was found on two of his friends' scorecards.

McIlroy missed a six-footer for birdie at the second hole and then sent his tee shot at the par-3 third hole into the rough and carded a bogey.

McIlroy seemed to compose himself on the ensuing holes, even pulling two back on the seventh and ninth. Nervous because it's an Open Championship.

Just as it didn't happen at Bethpage and Pebble, it didn't happen at Portrush.

But perhaps worse was the way McIlroy finished the round, haphazardly slapping the ball around on the 18th green as he three-putted his way to a triple bogey that ended his round. But then the wheels came completely off with five bogeys in six holes.

McDowell, born and raised in Portrush and a member at adjacent Rathmore Golf Club, was one shot out of the early lead when he three-putted for bogey on the 15th and dropped another shot on the 17th.

When Woods made his first and only birdie at the 15th, he used humor to ease his misery. "It's unbelievable to see the best golfers in the world and see how they play", he said.

Trying to fake it with a pieced-together swing in cold, rainy conditions is not a good bet on this golf course.

No, that fifth green jacket didn't undo the long-term damage to his back.

"I didn't do much out there", he said. But it's easier to manage the pain as a father than as a world-class athlete. These guys are too good.

Woods has played only 10 competitive rounds since winning the Masters in April and his last tournament start was at the U.S Open.

Woods has not played since the US Open last month, and his appearances have been less frequent over the years as he allows his body to rest more between tournaments. He was set to receive treatment after the round and will basically wait and see if it helps or not.

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