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Rory McIlroy now facing uphill WGC-Cadillac Championship battle

By Phil Casey

A poor first round has left Rory McIlroy well down the leaderboard at the WGC-Cadillac Championship.

World number two McIlroy was hoping to bounce back from blowing a four-shot lead in the final round of the WGC-Cadillac Championship, but an opening round three over par failed to lift his spirits.

McIlroy got off to a nightmare start by driving out of bounds on the opening hole.

That led to a double bogey and he suffered the same fate on the eighth. A birdie on the par-five 12th took him to two over par but he dropped another shot on the 13th. Australian Jason Day is leading the charge on six under par although five players are just a shot behind including Adam Scott and Henrik Stenson.

Graeme McDowell was among the early starters.

He played alongside Justin Rose and Matt Kuchar, and had to settle for 71, one-under par.

It was not a disaster but it could have been better for the Portrush man without the blemish of a couple of penalty shots for visiting the agua.

McDowell's shot of the day came at the par-five 16th, his seventh hole, where he holed a greenside bunker shot.

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