British Open Favorite Rory McIlroy Has Absolute Nightmare Start to Tournament


The British Open at Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland could not have gotten off to a worse start for tournament favorite and local hero Rory McIlroy.

McIlroy, who is from Northern Ireland, pulled his drive on the 420-yard par-4 first hole out of bounds — with an iron.

That meant he had to take a penalty and tee off again, now hitting his third shot. The third shot stayed in bounds but went into the rough, buried deep in the grass.

Sports Journalist Admits to Falling for Smear of Young NFL Fan, Apologizes: 'I Am an Idiot'

He hacked out, but the grass pulled his shot left into even deeper grass. He found the ball but it was unplayable, so he had to take another penalty shot.

Now he was hitting his sixth shot. McIlroy managed to chip up on to the green, but he missed a six-foot putt and had to tap in for a quadruple-bogey 8.

It could not be a more disappointing start for the man who was the favorite going in and set the course record of 61 when he was just 16 years old.

McIlroy went on to bogey the third hole to fall to 5-over par. He battled back with two birdies to get to 3-over but then had a disastrous double-bogey on 16 to go back to 5-over.

On the par-3 16th, McIlroy missed a pretty straight forward four-footer for par, then nonchalantly went for the tap-in from a few inches out and missed that, too.

His troubles weren’t over yet.

Water Company Blasted for Going After Arnold Palmer: 'This Is Classless'

On the 465-yard par 4 18th hole, McIlroy finished his round almost as bad as he started it — carding a triple-bogey 7.

He finished the round with an 8-over round of 79. He’s 12 shots behind leader Shane Lowry of Ireland and, barring a miraculous round Friday, won’t make the cut.

Will Rory McIlroy make the cut?

“Whenever you play your first and last holes at a combined 7-over par, it’s going to be a pretty tough day,” McIlroy told NBC’s Jimmy Roberts after the round.

Alex Noren, Sergio Garcia, Dylan Frittelli, Webb Simpson, Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Robert MacIntyre were all in the clubhouse at 3-under.

Play is ongoing with Tiger Woods, Jordan Spieth, Brooks Koepka, Phil Mickelson, Justin Rose and many others still on the course.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

Dave is a lifelong sports fan who has been writing for The Wildcard since 2017. He has been a writer for more than 20 years for a variety of publications.
Dave has been writing about sports for The Wildcard since 2017. He's been a reporter and editor for over 20 years, covering everything from sports to financial news. In addition to writing for The Wildcard, Dave has covered mutual funds for Pensions and Investments, meetings and conventions, money market funds, personal finance, associations, and he currently covers financial regulations and the energy sector for Macallan Communications. He has won awards for both news and sports reporting.
Languages Spoken
Topics of Expertise