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Angry Rory McIlroy in new slump after bad day in Florida

By Phil Casey

World number one Rory McIlroy threw a club into the water in frustration after more erratic play in the second round of the WGC-Cadillac Championship last night at Doral in Florida — although the Ulsterman was quick to apologise.

McIlroy had just recorded his third birdie of the day on the seventh to get back to level par for the tournament when he pulled his approach to the par-five eighth — a hole he had eagled on Thursday — into the water.

And after a few seconds’ thought the 25-year-old then hurled the offending long iron into the same stretch of water on his way to recording a six, his third bogey of the day.

“You get frustrated but I shouldn’t have did what I did,” admitted McIlroy at the end of his round.

“It just all bottled up and I don’t feel good about doing it. I wouldn’t encourage kids to do it.”

McIlroy refused to rule himself out of contention in the $10m event.

“I need to find a little bit of rhythm. If I can get off to a good start you never know,” he said.

The Holywood star finished the day on one under par after shooting a two under 70, which left him nine off the pace set by overnight leader JB Holmes.

It is not the first time McIlroy’s frustrations have got the better of him. At the US Open in 2013 he apologised for throwing one club and leaning so hard on another that he bent the shaft out of shape.

And that came just months after he walked off the course midway through the second round of the Honda Classic, where he was defending champion, telling reporters he was in “a bad place mentally”.

McIlroy missed the cut in the Honda Classic last week and struggled to an opening 73 at Doral, but looked to be getting back on track when he began his second round with two birdies.

However, the four-time major winner — he is only missing the Masters, which he is favourite to win at Augusta next month — then bogeyed the third after driving into the water and three-putted the fourth before the frustrations of the course known as the “Blue Monster” truly took their toll.

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