Rory McIlroy may have been reunited with his clubs, but he played Thursday like his sticks were still stuck back in Newark.
He opened with a 3-over 74 at the Irish Open and is in danger of extending his poor record at this event – in seven career appearances, he has managed only pair of top-10 finishes. He is already 10 shots off the early clubhouse lead.
“I was pretty sloppy with the scoring clubs,” he told reporters afterward, “so I might head to the range this afternoon to work on those. I need to do better (Friday) to be here for the weekend.”
McIlroy said it was “really frustrating” to not be able to work on his game Monday and Tuesday because of his missing clubs, but he shot 62 in the pro-am and worked on the range until about 8 p.m. local time Wednesday.
McIlroy is coming off a T-23 at the U.S. Open, continuing a run of 16 consecutive top-25s worldwide, dating to October.
“It’s tough because I feel like I have been playing well for a while,” he said, “and I’m still getting days like this. When you are playing well you should be capitalizing on that and not throwing in scores like I did today.”