Skip to main content

McIlroy aims for recovery in Abu Dhabi

updated 3:59 PM EST, Thu January 17, 2013
Rory McIlroy is hoping for a better second round in Abu Dhabi following a difficult start.
Rory McIlroy is hoping for a better second round in Abu Dhabi following a difficult start.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Rory McIlroy endured a difficult first day in Abu Dhabi following round of three-over-par
  • World No.1 used his Nike clubs for first time since signing bumper pay deal
  • Tiger Woods finishes level for the day after carding a 72
  • Justin Rose and Jamie Donaldson lead the way on five-under after first round

(CNN) -- Rory McIlroy says he is desperate to get back on track in Abu Dhabi after a disappointing first round of the new season.

Fresh from signing his new bumper multi-year deal with Nike, McIlroy struggled to adapt to his new clubs and hit two double bogeys on his way to a three-over-par 75.

Playing alongside stablemate Tiger Woods, who finished level for the day, McIlroy failed to impress on his return to the course where he came second behind Robert Rock last year.

Nike unveils Rory McIlroy: Tiger's heir apparent

Golfer Rory McIlroy signs with Nike
2012: A game changer for McIlroy?
Exclusive: Tiger and Rory's 'bromance'

But the World No.1 says he will improve when he steps out for his second round Friday.

"Yeah, a bit of rust for sure," he told reporters, after being asked why he started so poorly.

"Not playing any competitive golf for eight weeks. I guess when you're going out with new stuff, you're always going to be a little bit anxious about hitting it close like you've done on the range and today that wasn't quite the case. Hopefully I can do that tomorrow.

"I was really happy with the way the ball is in the wind. I was really happy with the irons and the wedge play.

"I wasn't very comfortable off the tee, but just because I didn't feel like I was swinging it that well."

How player power tipped Ryder Cup captaincy

McIlroy's European Ryder Cup teammate Justin Rose leads the way on five-under-par alongside Irish Open champion Jamie Donaldson.

Rose shot a bogey-free round of 67 but is expecting both Woods and McIlroy to threaten as the competition progresses.

"It's the first round of the year. There are a lot of factors involved, certainly a lot of factors for Rory involved this week," he said.

Tiger-Rory 'bromance': Can sports rivals really be friends?

"That's not his normal preparation with what he has had to obviously encounter the last couple of weeks, I'm sure.

"Tiger shot level and that's well within the golf tournament. So for me there's really no surprises there."

Defending champion Rock finished on 76, while Ernie Els, playing alongside Rock and Rose, had a 71, the same as Martin Kaymer.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 10:24 AM EDT, Fri August 8, 2014
From Seve's "spine-shivering" moment to Jack Nicklaus' "perfect explosion," David Cannon has captured many of golf's defining images.
updated 9:20 AM EDT, Thu August 7, 2014
They came home as casualties of war -- physically shattered and mentally broken. But golf is proving to be an unlikely salvation for U.S. veterans.
updated 8:31 AM EDT, Tue August 5, 2014
You are the one hitting the shots, but the man standing over your shoulder could hold the key to your golfing destiny.
updated 8:27 AM EDT, Mon July 21, 2014
PINEHURST, NC - JUNE 10: Rory McIlroy (R) of Northern Ireland talks with his dad Gerry McIlroy (L) during a practice round prior to the start of the 114th U.S. Open at Pinehurst Resort & Country Club, Course No. 2 on June 10, 2014 in Pinehurst, North Carolina. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
He has been there for all three of his son's major wins, but the latest triumph may well have been the sweetest yet for Rory McIlroy's father.
updated 8:18 AM EDT, Wed July 9, 2014
The next generation of golfers just keeps on getting younger. "They have the confidence to perform against their idols," says one ex-prodigy.
updated 7:59 AM EDT, Tue July 1, 2014
He was Spain's ultimate matador and golf's greatest escape artist.
updated 11:36 AM EDT, Wed June 18, 2014
Rory McIlroy has announced he wants to represent Ireland at the Rio Olympics in 2016.
Two-time major champion Rory McIlroy declares he'll represent Ireland at the Rio Olympics, not Great Britain.
updated 10:48 PM EDT, Mon April 28, 2014
Already admired by Annika Sorenstam and with a bucketful of talent, New Zealand's Lydia Ko has the world of golf at her feet.
updated 7:30 AM EDT, Mon April 28, 2014
Mike O'Connor, UK FootGolf
Like footie? Partial to a bit of golf? Then you'll love FootGolf. The sport's growing fan base includes a host of former English Premier League stars.
updated 9:43 AM EDT, Thu April 24, 2014
Golfers at at Barkway Park don't seem to concerned and have been taking pictures and videos of the bird when it appears on the greens and fairways.
A runaway ostrich-like bird hiding near an English golf course has caused quite a stir. Some say it's dangerous, while others are cashing in.
updated 8:38 AM EDT, Tue April 22, 2014
Eagles may be thin on the ground for most golfers at the Bear Trace course at Harrison Bay. But up in the treetops, it's a different matter.
updated 1:54 PM EDT, Fri April 18, 2014
When someone tells you to go jump in a lake, sometimes it's best to take their advice. "I've never been so scared," says golfer Pablo Larrazabal.
ADVERTISEMENT