Rory McIlroy missed two good chances to get among the early leaders when the BMW PGA Championship got under way at a chilly Wentworth today.
Wearing thick black gloves between shots, McIlroy split the first fairway with his drive and hit a superb approach to 12 feet directly behind the flag on the 473-yard par four.
However, the world number two – still seeking his first win of the year following his multi-million pound switch to new equipment – left his birdie putt inches short and then missed from similar distance on the par-three second.
McIlroy was playing alongside Ryder Cup team-mates Graeme McDowell and Paul Lawrie, having revealed yesterday he had cleared the air with McDowell after the former US Open champion confirmed that McIlroy is set to leave Horizon Sports Management to create his own management team.
The 24-year-old left International Sports Management in October 2011, just four months after winning his first major by eight shots in the US Open at Congressional, joining McDowell at Horizon.
Asked about leaving Horizon on Tuesday, McIlroy had snapped “Ask G-Mac, he knows more than me,” but by Wednesday all was well.
“I spoke to Graeme yesterday afternoon. We got back to the hotel and we just had a chat. Everything’s good,” McIlroy said.
Finland’s Mikko Ilonen and Scotland’s Scott Jamieson were setting the early pace on two under par, Ilonen picking up shots on the fourth and sixth and Jamieson carding birdies on the first two holes.