Bunker Mentality

McIlroy loses a birdie - but makes two eagles

Bunker Mentality

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A distraught Rory McIlroy decided to switch off his mobile phone and give away his laptop after ending his relationship with tennis player Caroline Wozniacki.

And it seems that "going off the grid" worked a treat for the former world number one: he shot one of his best ever rounds on the Wentworth course where he's always struggled badly, including two incredible eagles.

The first came with a sublime shot at the par-4 7th, where he launched the ball well past the hole before spinning it back into the cup:

 

The other came at the par-5 12th. He started off with a 350-yard drive (no doubt he was imagining that the ball was he head of the the trolls who've abused him on the internet over the last few days) before a mesmeric second shot that almost went in for an ultra-rare albatross, and left a tap-in.

 

The world number 10 might have forgotten the pain of his breakup while shooting his four-under-par 68 in the opening round of the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth but it was only a temporary respite from his anguish.

"I haven't turned on my phone for a few days and I've given my laptop away," McIlroy said. "I'm sort of living like I'm in the 1970s.

"It's a tough week and I'm not really that comfortable standing here talking about it."

McIlroy announced on Wednesday that he and Danish fiancée Wozniacki, who had been together for two and a half years, had mutually agreed to end their wedding plans.

"I don't think you'd be a human being if it wasn't tough especially when it's a little slow out there and we were walking in between shots," said the 25-year-old after ending the day six strokes behind tournament leader Thomas Bjorn.

"But once I had my mind focused on the task at hand it made it a little easier.

"I admitted yesterday it was going to be a tough week for me and if I can keep my mind busy and just concentrate on my golf and gym work and keep myself going throughout the week, then hopefully I'll make it a bit better for myself," said McIlroy.

The twice Major winner conjured two typically audacious shots on Thursday.

A previously glum-looking McIlroy was suddenly all smiles after eagling the par-four seventh.

His 130-yard approach with a pitching wedge landed in the rough at the back of the green before the ball spun sharply back and rolled 30 feet until it disappeared into the middle of the cup.

McIlroy also eagled the par-five 12th after a majestic five-iron from 203 yards ended within tap-in range.

The Irishman has a less than stellar record at Wentworth, having missed the cut three times in six previous starts and with a best result of a fifth-place finish in 2009.

"The two eagles helped obviously and it's a good round for me around this place," said McIlroy.

"It's a place where I've notoriously struggled in the past but it was good to shoot something in the 60s and I'm looking forward to getting back out on to the golf course tomorrow and doing that again."

Reuters

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