‘I would like to punch myself’ – Rory McIlroy reacts to disastrous opening round

Rory McIlroy admitted he wanted to punch himself after carding a disastrous 79 first round score at The Open.

The world No.3 dropped four shots at the 416-yard par four first hole, hitting his tee shot out of bounds and breaking a spectator’s mobile phone in the process.

Playing in front of a home crowd, the 30-year-old admitted he struggled to calm his nerves but managed to steady the ship, getting back to just three over par before undoing his good work late in the round.

Having dragged himself back into some sort of contention, McIlroy three-putted from close range on the 16th and closed his horror show of a round with another ugly triple bogey.

‘I would like to punch myself. I made a couple of stupid mistakes,’ he told BBC Radio 5 Live. ‘I was pretty nervous on the first tee and hit a bad shot.

‘I showed some resilience in the middle of the round and was trying to fight back into the championship but then I finished off poorly as well.

‘But seven over par combined on the first and last holes makes it very hard for you.

‘I hit my first shot out of bounds yesterday but it went right so that might have been in my head a little bit.

‘I turned the ball over a little too much. It was a poor tee shot but not that bad it deserved to go out of bounds.

‘If I look back I undid all my good work to recover on the last three holes.

‘At the end of the day I play golf to fulfill my ambitions not anyone else’s but I wish I could have given the crowd something to cheer about.

‘I let myself down more than anyone else and need to pick myself back up.’

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