World No. 1 McIlroy toils at Wentworth as Donald makes solid start
updated 4:58 PM EDT, Thu May 24, 2012
World No. 1 Rory McIlroy struggled on the opening day of the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth
- World No. 1 Rory McIlroy toils on the opening day of the BMW PGA Championship
- Northern Irishman hurls club at one stage as he cards a round of two-over-par
- Luke Donald can usurp McIlroy's top ranking this week and he sits on four-under
- David Drysdale and Peter Lawrie lead after the first day on six-under
(CNN) -- World No. 1 Rory McIlroy lost his cool in the midst of a heatwave at the BMW PGA Championship as Luke Donald stepped up his challenge to usurp the 2011 U.S. Open champion at the top of the rankings.
McIlroy, from Northern Ireland, struggled to a two-over-par round of 74 on the opening day at the Wentworth course while Donald, the defending champion, sits within striking distance of the leaders on four-under.
Donald can regain the No. 1 spot with victory at the tournament and must finish in the top eight to have a chance of overtaking McIlroy. His six birdies helped him into a tie for eighth place.
Scotland's David Drysdale and Ireland's Peter Lawrie lead on six-under after day one with England's Justin Rose and Alavaro Quiros, from Spain, in a group of five players one shot back.
Donald targets No. 1 spot after European Tour award
McIlroy's round included a run of four bogeys in five holes and at one stage he hurled a club to the floor in frustration after a poor shot.
I feel like I'm playing pretty well, I just need to go out there and shoot a score
"It's a bit of deja vu from last year," he told reporters. "I kept getting off to good starts and sort of making a few bogeys around the turn and not getting any momentum back.
"Two under through seven, feel like I'm playing well, then I make four bogeys in five holes. It's pretty disappointing and I feel like I'm playing pretty well, I just need to go out there and shoot a score."
McIlroy's compatriot Graeme McDowell's round turned sour shortly after he'd walked off the 18th green as his ball was shown to have moved prior to hitting his second shot from the rough on the closing hole.
The 2010 U.S. Open champion was unaware the ball had moved and he was penalised two strokes -- one for not replacing the ball into its original position and one for striking it from the wrong place.
It turned his round of level par into a round of two-over. He told reporters: "How are you supposed to attempt to place the ball when you're not sure it's moved in the first place? It's just a harsh one -- one of those freak scenarios in golf.
"It's my fault. I probably should have called for a referee. That would have saved me one shot, but what are you supposed to do -- the whole area was sort of bouncing.
"I was aware of it and asked for it to be looked at. The rules are there for everybody's protection."
Three-time major champion Ernie Els, from South Africa, is on four-under and compatriot Charl Schwartzel, the 2011 Masters champion, finished on three-under.
Former world No. 1 Lee Westwood, who was beaten by Donald in a playoff at last year's tournament, birdied the last to finish two-under.
Part of complete coverage on
updated 11:28 AM EDT, Fri June 14, 2013
Two of the most recognizable faces on the planet were casually shooting the breeze as they swept down the fairway in Florida.
updated 11:17 AM EDT, Thu June 13, 2013
As well as the bad weather that has already disrupted play, the world's top golfers will face a rare challenge at this week's U.S. Open at Merion.
updated 6:53 AM EDT, Mon June 3, 2013
Forget hitting the greens -- it's the fairway to heaven which is on the minds of some of the world's top golfers.
updated 12:04 PM EDT, Tue June 11, 2013
David Graham reflects on the emotion of winning the U.S. Open at Merion in 1981, the Australian's second major triumph.
updated 10:16 AM EDT, Tue June 11, 2013
Shane O'Donoghue attempts to recreate the most iconic photo in golf, Hy Peskin's pic of Ben Hogan's one-iron shot.
updated 8:15 AM EDT, Thu June 6, 2013
Butch Harmon and his son, Claude Harmon III, open up about their family's golf legacy.
updated 7:44 AM EDT, Thu June 6, 2013
Lee Trevino recounts his 1971 victory at Merion Golf Club, which will also host this year's U.S. Open.
updated 12:29 PM EDT, Thu June 6, 2013
Tiger Woods has climbed back to the top of the golf rankings, and now he has reclaimed his crown as the world's highest-paid athlete.
updated 12:15 PM EDT, Tue April 16, 2013
Masters champion Adam Scott not only has to contend with national hero status at home but also the role of golf's latest sex symbol.
updated 7:18 AM EDT, Fri April 12, 2013
Discover why golf's old school establishment fears a new breed of players creating new popularity with their online antics.
updated 2:54 PM EDT, Thu April 11, 2013
Following the web's reaction to Adam Scott's dramtic triumph at the 2013 Masters.
updated 10:08 AM EDT, Fri April 12, 2013
It's not just golf that makes Augusta so special -- there's also James Brown, cheese pimiento sandwiches, turkeys and ghosts.
updated 9:00 AM EDT, Tue March 26, 2013
As a swimmer, his countless hours of training paid off handsomely. As a golfer, Michael Phelps is wondering what he got himself into.
updated 9:06 AM EDT, Mon April 1, 2013
American D.A. Points celebrates his win at the Houston Open by joining in the "Dufnering" craze that has gripped golf recently.
updated 8:34 AM EST, Thu March 7, 2013
Living Golf meets Thorbjorn Olesen as the rising star of European golf prepares for the most important tournaments of his career.
updated 3:25 PM EDT, Wed March 13, 2013
Martin Kaymer reflects on his performance at the 39th Ryder Cup, when he sunk the winning putt against the United States.
updated 10:01 AM EST, Thu February 7, 2013
CNN's Shane O'Donoghue asks how much Rory McIlroy's new multimillion-dollar sponsorship deal is really worth.
updated 12:48 PM EST, Thu February 7, 2013
Living Golf meets Paul McGinley, who talks about becoming Europe's new Ryder Cup captain.
updated 6:49 AM EST, Mon February 18, 2013
Paul McGinley's former captain, Sam Torrance, shares some advice for the pro golfer turned new Ryder Cup captain.