Favourite Rory McIlroy starts The Open with quadruple-bogey eight on first hole

148th Open Championship - Day One

Open favourite Rory McIlroy suffered a nightmare start in his bid to win the Claret Jug at Royal Portrush after recording a quadruple-bogey eight on the first hole.

Northern Ireland’s big hope for a home winner could hardly have begun in worse fashion after hitting his tee shot out of bounds.

His wayward ball hit a fan and cracked the screen of her mobile phone in her pocket before ending up five feet inside the out of bounds posts.

It was a criminal mistake, having taken a two-iron for safety, and he compounded that error by finding the left rough with his third off the tee.

He then hacked his 155-yard approach into a greenside gorse bush, was forced to take a penalty drop, chipped to eight feet, but then missed for a seven.

That left him eight shots off the lead set by Ireland’s Shane Lowry, who had four birdies between the third and the 10th, and Open debutant Robert MacIntyre at four under par.

The 22-year-old Scot, who only turned professional late in 2018, raced to four under in an eventful seven holes which included an eagle, three birdies and a bogey.

As for McIlroy, he found himself four over par after just two holes, and that soon became five over after the fourth.

If the Northern Irishman is wanting to taste victory at his home tournament, he's going to have to produce a remarkable turnaround.

However, as things stand, he won't even make the weekend's play.

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