Dublin: 8°C Thursday 27 January 2022

'Sloppy' McIlroy 10 shots off lead as Mikko Ilonen tames Fota Island

Padraig Harrington, Gavin Moynihan and Peter Lawrie were the best of the Irish in the opening round.

McIlroy: slow start in County Cork.
McIlroy: slow start in County Cork.
Image: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

AN OPENING ROUND 3-over par 74 at Fota Island Resort has left Rory McIlroy 10 shots off Irish Open leader Mikko Ilonen.

McIlroy — who made headlines yesterday by committing to the Irish Olympic team — admitted some of his play was “very sloppy” as he racked up six bogeys through 14 holes, with birdies on five, nine and 18 going some way to rescuing his card.

Padraig Harrington is tied for 22nd position after his 2-under par 69, as he claimed birdies on holes nine, 10 and 14 in what was a satisfying first round, with a bogey on the 18th the only blot on the 2008 Open champion’s scorecard.

19-year-old amateur Gavin Moynihan made an encouraging start too, recovering from a double bogey on the first hole to shoot birdies on three, four, six and 18. The Dublin teenager ended tied with Harrington after his own round of 69.

Among the other 16 golfers tied for 22nd position is Irishman Peter Lawrie, whose four birdies on one, five, 15 and 16 negated the bogeys on nine and 14. Further down the field, Cian McNamara, John Kelly, Kevin Phelan and Shane Lowry ended the day on level par.

Eight birdies have Finn Ilonen (7-under) in a two-shot lead ahead of the trio of Germany’s Marcel Siem and Swedish pair Robert Karlsson and Magnus Carlsson (all on 5-under). Ilonen tees off alongside José María Olazábal at 1.10pm tomorrow.


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Speaking after his disappointing round, former world number one McIlroy admitted he was “very sloppy” with his scoring clubs.

“Wedges, short game, the putting, all that was just a little off. I drove the ball beautifully again. I’m putting myself in great positions off the tee but just not capitalising on them,” McIroy told the European Tour.

First published at 11.15am.

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Steve O'Rourke

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