Back-nine 41 dooms McIlroy's opener at Wentworth


A sloppy finish made a chilly day at Wentworth even worse for Rory McIlroy.

Holding steady at 3 under with six holes to play, the world No. 2 dropped five shots coming home Thursday to post 2-over 74 and sit eight shots behind James Kingston at the European Tour’s BMW PGA Championship.

“It was one of those rounds I let slip through my fingers,” he told reporters afterward. “It could have been something good and I could have been near the top of the leaderboard, but instead I am where I am.”

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McIlroy wasn’t the only top-tier player to struggle on an unseasonably cold day that required players to don fleece jackets, mittens and winter hats. Graeme McDowell double bogeyed the last hole for 74, while Ian Poulter, Sergio Garcia and Luke Donald were all over par in the afternoon wave.

McIlroy has yet to record a victory this season, but he has posted three top-10s in his last four starts, including a T-8 at The Players. A back-nine 41 Thursday won’t get him any closer to getting off the schneid, though.

“I didn’t really miss a shot for the first 12 holes,” he said afterward, “and I just feel that now I’m not getting as much out of my rounds as I should.”