McIlroy was hoping for a strong start to the Players Championship after getting out of the competition at Arnold Palmer last week with a final round 75. Inviting

Instead, McIlroy shot a 43 on his first nine holes at TPC Sawgrass on Thursday and started the prestigious tournament on the back nine

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McIlroy opened with a double bowey at # 10 but was only heading 3-over-par at # 18 when the disaster struck

McIlroy entered the water twice on the dangerous target hole to do a quadruple bogey eight

Difficult start for the defending champion at TPC Sawgrass driver left at his first hole (# 10), 3-putt from 24 feet at # 13 and now head into the drink at # 18 for McIlroy ImageTwittercom / mjGwpLiLMC

A ragged eight with two penalty shots and a three-putt on Jan. (his 9th) for Rory McIlroy, who has his turn in the first round of @THEPLAYERSChamp in 43 strokes It’s a daunting fight for the defending champions

Rory did, and I can’t stress this enough, * have no idea * where the ball is going picTwittercom / FyZ8QbCcH4

“I don’t know what the word is or how to describe it, but just a little dejected,” McIlroy said after the Arnold Palmer

“I need something, I need a spark, I need something and I just don’t seem to have it”

“I’m just trying to make the bad golf a little better because the good golf is always there and the good shots are always there”

“Just when you’re not feeling 100 percent, you just have to be able to manage it a little better, and I just haven’t done well for the past few weeks””

McIlroy is the defending champion of the Players Championship and won the title in 2019 before last year’s event was canceled after one round due to the COVID-19 pandemic

He wasn’t the only one struggling, however, and many big names struggled on Day 1, too

The Englishman Ian Poulter, who shot 77, captured the mood in the players’ room with a funny post video with McIlroy, Henrik Stenson (85) and Tyrell Hatton (76)

Sergio Garcia prevailed on Thursday with his second eagle of the day against a glittering seven-under-65-year-old and secured a lead of two strokes in the first round of the US PGA Tour Players Championship

The Spaniard, who won the players in 2008 and lost in a playoff in 2015, stayed away from the trouble playing partner Rory McIlroy and many others had at TPC Sawgrass, taking four strokes in his final three holes in a sit down an early target that no one could catch

Brian Harman came closest, shooting a five-under-par 67 for the solo second before darkness stopped play with 21 golfers on the course, the round resuming Friday morning

Garcia polished things up with an 18-foot eagle putt on the ninth, his last hole of the day. He started his final shot with a 16-foot birdie on the seventh and emptied a 17-foot birdie at eight >

“I’ve always said it, Valderrama and this course are some of my top favorites and for some reason it just catches my eye,” Garcia said

“I see what I want to do pretty much every hole and then it comes down to it, but definitely I’m more comfortable and I’ve done well here”All of these things help so Garcia followed his first birdie of the day at 15 with a ten foot eagle at 16. He followed his lone bogey of the day on the first with a birdie on the second

And after his valiant end, he was 14 strokes ahead of McIlroy, the defending champion after his 2019 win, thanks to the derailment of the 2020 edition by the coronavirus pandemic

Jason Day was the best Australian, carding a two-under-70-year-old to be one in front of compatriot Cameron Smith

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Horror stuff from Rory McIlroy at #TPCSawgrass plus three past eight and now twice on 18 his ninth in the water Something that is unfortunately not right with this swing

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Players Championship 2021, The Players Championship

World news – AU – Players Championship 2021: first round results, ranking, Rory McIlroy quadruple bogey, Ian Poulter video, TPC Sawgrass, Sergio Garcia