Rory McIlroy might be the host with the most this weekend at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open hosted by the Rory Foundation, but his golf game on Thursday was anything but charitable.
McIlroy hit nine bogeys en route to a 9-over 80, tying him for dead last – 152nd place – at the tournament that wears his name.
Struggling here early is nothing new for the World No. 1 player – he’s missed the cut the last two years at the Irish Open, but nothing like today.
Starting on the back nine along with defending champion Mikko Ilonen and American No. 9 Rickie Fowler, McIlroy was 1-over through five, then bogeyed four straight holes to hit the turn at 5-over.
The front nine wasn’t much better as McIlroy bogeyed four out of five holes between No. 4 and No. 8.
McIlroy’s outing let Ilonen’s 6-over 77 fade into the woodwork, while Fowler ended with an even-par 71. If someone told Fowler Thursday morning he would outshoot McIlroy by 9 strokes on Day 1, the American would have likely assumed he had either set a course record or McIlroy had fallen off a cliff.