First day of PGA defence for world No 1 full of ups and downs

GolfBy Sunday World
McIlroy in action on Day 1 at Wentworth
McIlroy in action on Day 1 at Wentworth

Defending champion Rory McIlroy had a real mixed bag on the first day of his defence of the PGA title at Wentworth.

By Liam Kelly

McIlroy got his defence of the BMW PGA Championship underway this morning at 8:35 am, paired with Welshman Jamie Donaldson and former US PGA champion Martin Kaymer.

The world No 1 got off to a rocky start with a bogey at the first hole. However, he responded with a birdie on the second hole par 3.

He went on to card another birdie on the fourth but then he dropped a shot on the next hole.

McIlroy really didn't get going today at all, however at the 12th McIlroy played a beautiful wedge shot to stick his shot within five feet of the hole for a fantastic birdie opportunity which he bins in to bring his scorecard under par for the round.

Then again, like he has done all day, another mistake at the 13th was very costly for the Irishman as he bogeys to bring himself back to level par.

McIlroy then responds to the blemish at the 13th with a birdie on 14 to bring himself back to one under par with his partner Donaldson.

We then get a sight of a smile from McIlroy as he leaves at 18-foot birdie putt short to stay one under par.

At this point we hope to see McIlroy gain momentum and show the crowd why he is a four-time major champion.

Unfortunately for the 26-year old he only is able to par the remainder of his holes on the way home.

McIlroy will start the second day one under par. Hopefully we will get a glimpse of the real Rory McIlroy because even though one under par is a respectable score we expect more from the man who won here last year, a win that kicked off his phenomenal form over the last 12 months.

His partner Donaldson will be sharing the same position on the leaderboard with the Welshman carding also a one under par. Kaymer had a slightly poorer round with a level par round.

In other news for Irish golfers, Padraig Harrington has pulled out of the tournament today with a shoulder injury The former British Open champion vowed to fans he would play the tournament this week. This comes as a big dissapointment as it seems likely he will miss the Irish Open next week, a huge upset for home-based fans.

It’s not just McIlroy and Harrington who were to play in Wentworth this week, Shane Lowry is two over par and still on the front nine, Darren Clarke is two over par also, Damien Mc Grane is one over through one, Neill Kearney, 27, has finished up level par while Peter Lawrie is just about to finish up and he is leading the Irish charge at two under par.

Leading the tournament at the time of writing is Robert Karlsson, in the clubhouse at five under.