McIlroy misses cut on unhappy debut with new clubs

Fri Jan 18, 2013 10:31am EST
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By Tony Jimenez

ABU DHABI (Reuters) - Rory McIlroy made an inauspicious start to his Nike career, and there was certainly no tick against his scorecard, as the world number one missed the cut at the $2.7 million Abu Dhabi Championship on Friday.

The Northern Irishman, playing with new clubs and a new ball, swished and swooshed his way to a second successive three-over 75 in his first competitive outing since signing a massive sponsorship deal with the U.S. sportswear firm on Monday.

McIlroy followed a run of three straight pars with bogeys at the fourth, fifth and seventh before birdies at the eighth and ninth offered some hope that he might squeeze into the final two rounds on Saturday and Sunday.

However, the 23-year-old looked a picture of despair after dropping more shots at the 10th and 14th to post a six-over total of 150 in the European Tour event at the Abu Dhabi Golf Club.

"It was pretty much the same as yesterday," McIlroy told reporters. "When you don't hit the fairways on this course you can't score.

"I didn't drive the ball well, I didn't putt well again and my iron play wasn't anywhere near the standard that is usual for me. All aspects of my game were off.

"I'm also struggling with my swing a little bit. I feel like I'm spinning out of it a lot, hitting off the heel. I just need to put in a bit of work on the range," said McIlroy.

"I knew it was going to be a tough week with everything that's been going on. I was looking forward to getting back to the course and doing what I'm comfortable with - it just didn't work out like that."   Continued...

Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland watches at the fourth hole during the second round of the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship at the Abu Dhabi Golf Club January 18, 2013. REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah