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Mixed day for our lads Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell at Doral

By Phil Casey

World number one Rory McIlroy endured a rollercoaster opening round in the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral yesterday.

McIlroy carded three birdies and an eagle in the space of five holes on his back nine, but also recorded four bogeys and a double bogey to return a one-over-par 73.

That was seven shots off the clubhouse lead set by American Ryan Moore, who double-bogeyed the 18th in his 66, with JB Holmes nine under par with two holes to play.

McIlroy described missing the cut in last week's Honda Classic as a useful "kick up the backside" ahead of his bid to complete the career Grand Slam by winning the Masters at Augusta next month.

But it did not appear to have had the desired effect as the Open champion struggled to four over par after nine holes of his opening round to lie joint 69th in the elite 74-man field.

Starting on the back nine, McIlroy failed to birdie the par-five 10th and then bogeyed the 11th.

The 25-year-old also failed to get up and down from sand on the 17th before a costly double bogey on the 18th.

McIlroy finally recorded his first birdie of the day on the par-three fourth, holing from 10 feet to get back to three over par, and made it two in a row from close range on the next.

A wayward approach to the next led to another bogey, before McIlroy holed from 18 feet for birdie on the seventh and 22 feet for eagle on the par-five eighth.

McIlroy, however, pulled his tee shot to the ninth left of the green and chipped his second into a bunker, eventually doing well to hole from 12 feet for a closing bogey.

McIlroy's fellow Ulsterman Graeme McDowell also finished on a one-over-par 73 after he, too, endured a mixed round, including four birdies, three bogeys and a double bogey.

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