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Sunday 11 December 2016

Rory's disaster in first day at Irish Open

Golf

Irish Open host Rory McIlroy will be hoping for a miracle comeback today after a disastrous start to the four-day golf extravaganza.

The Co Down man (inset) finished near the bottom of the leader board after a shocking first-round display on his home turf.

Hosted by his namesake charity, The Rory Foundation, the local welcomed the sports elite to the magnificent Royal County Down course, in Newcastle, for the tournament.

But the world number one suffered a meltdown in front his adoring home supporters.

The 26-year-old carded nine bogeys, leaving him dead last of the 78 morning starters.

He will today have to do battle with Dubliner Padraig Harrington, who starts by sitting pretty at the top of the leader board.

Harrington, who teed off later in the afternoon, goes in with an impressive four-under par on the cards.

Despite his woes, McIlroy managed to retain his sense of humour and joked that he made things look a lot harder than they were.

"It was not quite as difficult as I made it look," admitted McIlroy after an opening round played in cold, blustery and often wet conditions. "I'll just have to pick myself up and go out there tomorrow and shoot a good one."

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