Frustrated McIlroy settles for one-under at Wentworth

Thu May 21, 2015 10:25am EDT
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By Tony Jimenez

VIRGINIA WATER, England (Reuters) - British fans, starved of top-notch golf for seven months, turned out in their droves for the BMW PGA Championship first round on Thursday and the main attraction was world number one Rory McIlroy.

The Florida-based Northern Irishman, back on home soil for the first time since October, was less than satisfied with an opening one-under-par 71 and showed his displeasure with the occasional flash of indiscipline.

Defending champion McIlroy tossed his club across the fairway in frustration after playing an errant second at the par-five 17th.

"I felt myself getting a bit angry out there which I haven't been doing the last few weeks," he told reporters at the European Tour's flagship event.

"I just need to stay in control of my emotions because I feel like... if I'm a little tired or a little fatigued mentally I'll start to be hard on myself.

"I feel like my patience was sort of wearing thin out there today so I just need to try and stay a little bit more patient."

McIlroy, who lost his cool when he hurled a club into a water hazard at the WGC-Cadillac Championship in Florida in March, is playing in his fourth tournament in a row this week, an untypically busy schedule for the 26-year-old.

There was a real buzz of excitement at the start of the round. The gallery was six deep around the first tee and hundreds of fans lined the fairways.   Continued...

Golf - BMW PGA Championship - Virginia Water, Surrey, England - 21/5/15
Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy looks dejected at the 18th green during the first round
Action Images via Reuters / Paul Childs