Published Thursday, 19 June 2014
McIlroy hit six bogeys. (© Getty)
The 25-year-old, who revealed on Wednesday that he would represent Ireland and not Great Britain in the 2016 Olympics, was the pre-tournament favourite at Fota Island in Co Cork.
However, he struggled to justify that billing with a three over par opening round of 74 on Thursday morning.
McIlroy hit six bogeys and three birdies to leave him well down the leaderboard and sitting 10 points behind current leader Mikko Ilonen of Finland.
"I still drove the ball great and got in the positions that you need to, but short-sided myself a couple of times, hit a couple of loose shots with my wedges and could not get a putt to drop," he said.
"I was pretty sloppy with the scoring clubs, so I might head to the range this afternoon to work on those. I need to do better tomorrow to be here for the weekend."
McIlroy's playing partner, Dubliner Padraig Harrington, managed a two under 69, while Darren Clark finished his first round one over par on 72.
Graeme McDowell and Michael Hoey both fared better, each carding a three under par 68.
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