Rory Putts into Bunker, Cards 8-over 79

Rory Putts into Bunker, Cards 8-over 79

Criticized for changing his clubs and not spending time practicing with them because he is distracted by his girlfriend, Rory McIlroy came to the Open Championship on Thursday and promptly shot an 8-over 79 in a dreadful opening round.

He had two double bogeys and even putted into a bunker on the 15 hole, which he double bogeyed.

“You’ve just got to play through it. It’s got nothing to do with technique. It’s all mental.”

Before the season, McIlroy, as part of his lucrative sponsorship deal, dropped his Titlelist clubs that helped make him the world’s top-ranked golfer in favor of Nike’s clubs with which he was unfamiliar. Nick Faldo has criticized him for making the change and other analysts have recently said McIlroy is too distracted by his girlfriend, Caroline Wozniacki, who is a professional tennis player.