Rory McIlroy will be left to rue a disappointing finish to his opening round of the DP World Tour Championship even more this evening after it has emerged he will be out with LIV Golf rebel Adrian Otaegui in the second round.
Another reason why PGA Tour and DP World Tour lead ambassador McIlroy will unlikely fancy the pairing with Otaegui, who recently ruffled a few feathers when he returned to the DP World Tour to win the Andalucia Masters, is that the Spaniard is hardly one of the fastest players on the circuit.
And that is being polite.
So much so, one Tour pro (who has also dabbled with LIV Golf himself this season) has blasted Otaegui for playing like a turtle.
Torque meets Torque.— Eddie Pepperell (@PepperellEddie) November 17, 2022
Rory McIlroy after seeing he's been paired with LIV Golf's Adrian Otaegui for the second round of the DP World Tour Championship pic.twitter.com/TNZkOO9TpY— Andy Roberts (@AndyRobertsGolf) November 17, 2022
Otaegui has played in three LIV Golf tournaments this year, and it remains to be seen whether or not he returns to the breakaway golf league or the DP World Tour in 2023.
McIlroy has been a strong critic of the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Tour for much of the season, but he has gradually come round to the idea that "compromise" is now needed with the PGA Tour and DP World Tour in order for the sport to move forwards.
Ryan Fox, who played with McIlroy in the first round, revealed earlier this week how McIlroy is a "voice of common sense" during a "messy" time for the sport as a result of LIV Golf.
McIlroy had got off to a solid start in the first round of the DP World Tour Championship earlier today when playing the first eight holes in 3-under par, but then the wheels quickly came off with three bogeys on the next eight holes.
The World No.1 did salvage some pride with a birdie on the par-5 18th to get back into the red at 1-under par, but he now looks on from the chasing pack six strokes behind early English pacesetters Matt Fitzpatrick and Tyrrell Hatton.
He should have fun tomorrow. pic.twitter.com/IE48Ug9QGI— LIVBOT (@steven1976a) November 17, 2022
Otaegui made three birdies and two bogeys during his opening round of 1-under 71.
McIlroy did have the lead in the season-long DP World Tour Rankings race but he is currently projected to finish in second place behind Fitzpatrick as things stand.
But of course there are still 54 holes to play, and much can and probably will still happen as McIlroy goes in search of a fourth rankings title on the former European Tour circuit.
Scroll below for R2 Tee Times in full...
DP World Tour Championship R2 Tee Times (GMT)
4.30am - Ashun Wu | Richard Bland
4.40am - Jordan Smith | Ewen Ferguson
4.50am - Hurly Long | Eddie Pepperell
5.00am - Thorbjorn Olesen | Matthieu Pavon
5.10am - Rafa Cabrera Bello | Haotong Li
5.20am - Viktor Hovland | Ryan Fox
5.30am - Shane Lowry | Shubhankar Sharma
5.45am - Connor Syme | Richard Mansell
5.55am - Joakim Lagergren | Fabrizio Zanotti
6.05am - Thriston Lawrence | Antoine Rozner
6.15am - Oliver Bekker | Marcel Schneider
6.25am - Rory McIlroy | Adrian Otaegui
6.35am - Guido Migliozzi | Min Woo Lee
6.50am - Sam Horsfield | Jorge Campillo
7.00am - Romain Langasque | Adrian Meronk
7.10am - Jon Rahm | Robert MacIntyre
7.20am - Gavin Green | Oliver Wilson
7.30am - Sebastian Soderberg | David Law
7.40am - Paul Waring | Richie Ramsay
7.55am - Pablo Larrazabal | Victor Perez
8.05am - Maximilian Kieffer | Tommy Fleetwood
8.15am - Rasmus Hojgaard | Yannik Paul
8.25am - Callum Shinkwin | Kurt Kitayama
8.35am - Adri Arnaus | Alex Noren
8.45am - Matt Fitzpatrick | Tyrrell Hatton