• Irish Open

McIlroy labours to three over in opening round

ESPN staff
June 19, 2014
Rory McIlroy carded six bogeys in a disappointing opening round at Fota Island © Getty Images

Rory McIlroy blamed poor preparation for his three-over-par round of 74 on the first day of the Irish Open at Fota Island.

The two-time major champion endured a mixed round, carding six bogeys and three birdies and now looks set to miss the cut unless he can produce something exceptional on Friday as he is 10 shots off leader Mikko Ilonen.

"I was pretty sloppy with the scoring clubs," McIlroy said. "Obviously I need to do a lot better with those just to be here for the weekend.

"I've had a little bit of jet-lag for sure. Not really being able to do much on Monday and Tuesday because the clubs didn't arrive until yesterday was a little bit frustrating more than anything else.

"But I had a really good practice session out on the range last night after the pro-am and was feeling good going out this morning. I just couldn't really pull it together."

Finland's Ilonen leads the way after shooting a round of 64 to finish seven under. He birdied five of the last seven holes and is two shots clear of Marcel Siem, Robert Karlsson and Magnus A. Carlsson.

Matt Fitzpatrick, the leading amateur at last weekend's US Open, shot a round of 72 in his professional debut. The Sheffield teenager, who previously won the Silver Medal for best-placed amateur at the 2013 Open, carded three bogeys and two birdies in an impressive opening round.

Pre-tournament favourite McIlroy was in action a day after announcing his intention to represent Ireland in Rio when golf enters the Olympics in 2016.

Irish Open leaderboard

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