Rory McIlroy has spoken of his disappointment with 'inexcusable' elements that showed themselves on his first round at The Open at Portrush.
McIlroy started the day with a quadruple bogey, and finished 8 over, in an extremely disappointing opening round. But far from unsettling him, the opening hole had the opposite effect, accoring to McIlroy.
"It almost settled me down. It was sort of the worst thing that could happen, so just get your head down and get going. I'm not saying it was the ideal start, but at that point then [...] what else could go wrong?
"I put my head down, kept trying to hit good shots, did that for the next thirteen or fourteen holes."
But there was a sting in the tail of the round, in the form of the sixteenth hole, and one that played on McIlroy's mind the most.
"The one that I'm disappointed about most is the short putt at 16 - that is inexcusable.
"Tee shots like the first happen - you can get ones that ride on the wind a little too much, that's fine - but lapses of concentration like that...
"I feel like I've done a really good job, the last few years, of being more with it and realising 'OK, just keep a cool head.'
"There, I didn't - I hit it on the run, missed it and if I look back on today, it's the shot I'm disappointed with the most."
"It's not like an Irish Open - I was only able to get a few tickets for people!"@ShaneLowryGolf spoke to @JohnDugganSport about his excellent round of 67.
Full story of Shane's round: https://t.co/HWl0jeLaKl pic.twitter.com/4UMq5XDuPq
— Off The Ball (@offtheball) July 18, 2019
But the fact that the opening round disappointment came on home turf held little sway for McIlroy.
"I'd be disappointed regardless, whether it was here, or St Andrews, or Birkdale, or any of the other tournaments or majors.
"I'm disappointed but at the end of the day, I am still the same person. I am going to go back and see my friends and family and hopefully they don't think any less of me after today!"