Seventy-Two Reasons Why It’s Been 11-Years McIroy Last Played RBC Heritage

There were again 72 reasons why it had been 11-years since Rory McIlroy first and last played the RBC Heritage Harbor Town course at Hilton Head.

For a second week running, McIlroy struggled on a tight tree-lined course and admitting he was out of his ‘comfort zone’ in signing for a one over 72 on day one of the Euro 6.3m event.

It was the exactly the same score he shotback in 2009 when he made his only other appearance on the South Carolina course.

McIlroy struggled with three outward bogeys and saved a little face with a pair of inward nine birdies to end his round trailing eight shots behind the leading duo of England’s Ian Poulter and American Mark Hubbard.

McIlroy headed for a ‘grab-and-go’ lunch sharing 103rd place in the 151-player field.

And for a second week running, McIlroy would no doubt have been pleased there were no spectators to see him hit just seven of the 14 fairways and take 33 putts.

“I was out of my overall comfort level,” he said.

“I wasn’t particularly comfortable out there. It’s still not — I played here once before in ’09, and I just can’t remember not being that comfortable around here then, and it’s still sort of the same.

“I’m just not comfortable and I am sort of trying to pick lines and really commit to shots. I just wasn’t as committed today as I need to be around here”

Eleven years and Rory McIlroy opens with a disappointing one-over par 72. (Photo – PGA Tour)

McIlroy commenced his round from the 10th but was soon back-pedalling about the alligator-infested layout dropping shots at the 11th , 15th and 18th holes before at least saving some face over the inward half.

He was in a left greenside bunker at the par-5 fifth hole and the 15th of his round from where he splashed out to four-foot and holed a first birdie.

McIlroy was then around 80-feet shy of driving the green at the short par-4 ninth hole and the final hole of his round and  from where he got a bit of a flyer landing his second shot 30-feet behind the flag before earning the applause of a small handful near the green in holing the birdie putt.

And after his round he was asked if there was any difference in his disappointing 74 last Sunday in Texas to an equally no frills 72 four days later along the Atlantic Ocean shoreline.

“Not a whole lot of difference, to be honest, in my game anyway,” he said.

“I’m still just missing tee shots. I’m sort of missing my 3-wood left and missing my driver right.

“So, I don’t really have to — you know. I missed a few. I got a little better towards the end, hit some decent tee shots.

“If you’re in any way like in two minds what to do off the tees around here and get a little bit sort of guidey, it can bite you.

“So, I didn’t get it in play enough to give myself shots or looks at hitting it close into greens and making birdies and it was  just a little bit of a struggle.

“I’ll spend the afternoon now working on my game and see if I can straighten it out.”

Eleven years ago, McIlroy also commenced the event with a 72 and then proceeded to post score of 71, 72 and 71 for an eventual share of 58th place.

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