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Frustrated McIlroy could face tour fine
Rory McIlroy and David Drysdale illustrated the fine line between success and failure on the opening day of the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth.
World number one McIlroy went out of bounds by an inch and threw a club as a two-over-par 74 left him in danger of missing the halfway cut for a second successive tournament - and possibly losing top spot again to Luke Donald.
Drysdale, 290 places below him on the rankings, could not believe his luck as his second shot to the final hole went into the water and bounced out again. The 37-year-old Scot went on to birdie the par five for a six-under 66 and a share of the lead with Ireland's Peter Lawrie.
"You could hit 1,000 balls and never have that happen," said Drysdale. "I don't know what it hit - maybe a fish. It was a massive break. I don't think I can say what I would have thought if I had taken six or seven there."
McIlroy's show of frustration, which could result in a European Tour fine, came as he ran up a six on the long 12th. It was the last of four bogeys in five holes and a double bogey at the 16th was to follow. He had earlier eagled the fourth.
Having started with a 76 last May, the Northern Irishman this time said: "A bit of deja vu. Two under through seven, so it's just pretty disappointing. I feel like I'm playing pretty well. I just need to go out there and shoot the scores."
On the shot at the 12th, McIlroy added: "I was just trying to cut it in, trying to hold it up against the wind and just double-crossed it."
Tournament director David Garland said in a statement: "I have not yet had the chance to view the incident, but I will be requesting a tape. If any breach of the Tour's guidelines on course etiquette is found, then appropriate action will be taken in due course. But any decision is unlikely to be taken until after the tournament has finished."
McIlroy crashed out early from the Players Championship in Florida two weeks ago and might need a four-stroke improvement on Friday to survive this time. If the 23-year-old does fail to make it through to the weekend, Donald will need a top-eight finish to go back to number one, but he is aiming much higher than that after a 68.
Justin Rose and big-hitting Spaniard Alvaro Quiros both scored 67 to lie one back. Lee Westwood, whose play-off defeat to Donald 12 months ago cost him the number one position, returned a 70 and was delighted with that, saying: "I didn't have anywhere near my A-game and not even my B-game really."