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Dublin: 18 °C Saturday 21 September, 2019

McIlroy's defence at DP World Tour Championship gets off to worst possible start

Lee Westwood’s putter turns hot in Dubai.

McIlroy: four bogeys and a double in his opening round.
McIlroy: four bogeys and a double in his opening round.
Image: Kamran Jebreili

RORY MCILROY STRUGGLED to a dismal 75 on day one of the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai.

And it could have been even worse for the defending champion who launched a late rally with three birdies to bring himself back to three-over.

Only three players scored worse on Thursday than McIlroy, who is already nine shots behind early pace-setter Lee Westwood.

Westwood, whose putting woes made headlines at the Ryder Cup, had seven birdies and just a single bogey to top the leaderboard with a 66.

He is a shot ahead of Nicolas Colsaerts and Julien Quesne, with the trio of Sergio Garcia, Joost Luiten and Francesco Molinari a further shot back on four-under.

Shane Lowry is the best of the Irish on two-under while Pádraig Harrington opened with a level-par round of 72.

See the leaderboard in full here >

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Niall Kelly

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