NEWCASTLE, Northern Ireland (AP) — Rory McIlroy shot a season-worst 9-over 80 on Thursday in the Irish Open to fall 13 strokes behind the first-round leaders.
The top-ranked McIlroy, from Northern Ireland, had nine bogeys in his morning round in cold and windy conditions and occasional rain at Royal County Down. He was tied for 150th in the 155-man field.
McIlroy missed the cut last week in the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth in England after winning the PGA Tour’s Wells Fargo Championship the previous week in North Carolina. McIlroy won the European Tour’s Dubai Desert Classic in February and the WGC-Match Play Championship in San Francisco on May 3.
Ireland’s Padraig Harrington and Germany’s Maximilian Kieffer shot 67 to share the lead.
Rickie Fowler opened with a 71 playing alongside McIlroy. The American is coming off a victory three weeks ago in PGA Tour’s Players Championship.
IRVING, Texas (AP) — Steven Bowditch matched his career best with an 8-under 62 in the AT&T Byron Nelson, leaving Jordan Spieth seven strokes back in the Masters champion’s hometown event.
Bowditch, the Australian also playing close to his home in the Dallas suburbs, made three putts of at least 24 feet while shooting a 30 on the front nine at TPC Four Seasons Resort.
Another Texan, Jimmy Walker, was second after a 64. He won the Sony Open in Hawaii in January and the Texas Open in March in San Antonio.
Spieth opened with a birdie but missed two short chances late and settled for a 69.