It was an up and down opening round from Rory McIlroy. As always he entered the week with both a huge amount of personal and public expectation on his shoulders as he looks to become only the 6th player in history and the first ever Irishman to complete the career grand slam.
A notorious slow-starter, McIlroy will be content with simply being in touching distance of the leaders after round 1, and considering he was three over through 12, the Holywood man showed some real grit to battle back and finish level for his round.
Overall it was his ball striking and driving in particular which let him down throughout his round, as he scrambled his way around sinking some incredibly impressive putts in the process. The later parts of his opening round did include some beautiful approach shots however, none better than his 7-iron into the par-3 16th.
Requiring a birdie to get right back in to the mix, McIlroy stitched it to the pin from 165 yards out, much to the delight of the crowd and his playing partner Jon Rahm who attempted to show his appreciation for the shot with a fist-bump. Unfortunately, McIlroy failed to notice anything, resulting in quite possibly the most painful burn we’ve seen in a while.
Rory vs Rahm. Closest to the pin 🎯 pic.twitter.com/0pjoWvHQCi
— #Miguel707 🕺 (@EuropeanTour) April 6, 2017
I don’t think McIlroy can be held accountable for failing to notice this monstrosity, but it’s tough not to cringe when Rahm attempts to cover his tracks by putting his hand into his pocket.
A fail for the ages