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Rory: I made too many mistakes

 

Frustrated: Rory McIlroy struggled in his opening round at Augusta
Frustrated: Rory McIlroy struggled in his opening round at Augusta

By Phil Casey

Rory McIlroy admitted he will need to step up a gear to maintain his quest to win a first Masters following a topsy-turvy opening round.

The Holywood ace carded five birdies and six bogeys in a one over 73 which leaves him already playing catch-up.

It was the 29-year-old's worst opening round at Augusta since a 74 in 2010.

"I felt the course was there. It's soft. There's not much wind," he said. "I made five birdies, that wasn't the problem. I just made too many mistakes. I'm going to go to the putting green right now and try to figure this out. I can accept mistakes if I'm trying and it's not a mental error, but six bogeys out there is a little too many and I'm just going to need to tidy that up over the next few days."

Four-time champion Tiger Woods hit a solid two-under-par 70 but Brooks Koepka was leading the charge on five under late into his first round, with Ian Poulter just a shot behind.

Shane Lowry had a nightmare start as he sits on six over par while world number one Justin Rose was struggling on four over near the end of his opening round.

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