Rory McIlroy’s dream of winning the Open Championship on home soil is effectively over after he slumped to an opening 79 at Royal Portrush.
It is not the first time that McIlroy has posted such a high score in a major and, here, PA looks at some of the 30-year-old’s previous struggles.
McIlroy had equalled what was then the lowest score in major history with an opening 63 on the Old Course, but was caught in the worst of the weather the following afternoon and his eight-over-par 80 sent him from two shots in front to 11 behind.
McIlroy looked set for his first major title after starting with a 65 and forging a four-shot lead with 18 holes to play, but slumped to a closing 80 which included a triple bogey on the 10th and a four-putt double bogey on the 12th.
A first round of 79 at Muirfield left McIlroy labelling his own play as “brain dead” as he continued to struggle following his controversial multi-million pound switch to Nike equipment in January. A back nine of 42 included McIlroy putting off the 15th green into a bunker.
McIlroy had been bullish about his prospects after a lengthy spell of preparation at Shinnecock and other courses on Long Island, but was unable to handle the windy conditions and struggled to a 10-over-par 80 on a day which saw four players share the lead on one under par.