Rory McIlroy with shocking finish (!) during opening round of the Memorial

Rory McIlroy trails England's Matt Wallace by four strokes at Jack's place. 

Ben Smith's picture
Thu, 1 Jun 2023
Rory McIlroy with shocking finish (!) during opening round of the Memorial

Rory McIlroy was left to rue a shocking triple bogey finish at the opening round of the Memorial

McIlroy, 34, posted a level par 72 and finds himself five back of Davis Riley.

The Ulsterman was rarely in trouble during his opening nine holes at Muirfield Village and almost holed out for eagle from 136 yards with a delightful wedge on the third. 

He tidied up the 2ft 5ins putt for his birdie and made the turn in 2-under. He quickly picked up a dropped shot at No. 10 by birdieing 11 and moved to 3-under par at 15 but came unstuck on his final hole of the day. 

Related: Fresh details emerge about murder of McIlroy's relative

McIlroy carved his tee shot way, way right and had absolutely no chance of reaching the green.

With the ball way above his feet, he took an almighty swipe at his TP5. He got it out, but it settled in a flier lie. 

He sent his third shot long and left, misjudged his long greenside chip before he got straight underneath a delicate flop shot and his ball dribbled onto the green.  

After missing the putt it was an ugly triple bogey seven on the scorecard. 

McIlroy's playing partner Jordan Spieth also was in a world of trouble on 18 but escaped with a bogey. He was faced with a similar lie that McIlroy had. 

Spieth said:

"Yeah, so I think he hit a 9-iron trying to just open the face and explode it out. I was thinking about that and I went to a wedge. I was actually fortunate that I hit it at the bunker instead of up the center of the green because it wouldn't have gotten there. So I got a good break there for sure, having watched his. But I didn't hit the right club either. I needed to open a 9. His lie looked worse, but it came out hot, and mine looked a lot better and came out very normal."

By day's end it was Riley out in front leading England's Matt Wallace by one at 5-under. 

A host of names are on 3-under.

That list includes former Masters champion Danny Willett, Adam Hadwin, Mark Hubbard, Austin Eckroat, Spieth, Shane Lowry and Jordan Lipsky. 

At the other end of the leaderboard, defending champion Billy Horschel opened with a disastrous 84 and later admitted his confidence was at the lowest in his career. 

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