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Rory McIlroy sullies streak of four birdies by dropping three shots during first day of play at WGC-Cadillac Championship in Doral

Rory McIlroy sullied a streak of four birdies and a single bogey across six holes by dropping two more shots before the turn during the first day of the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral.

The Holywood man is currently two shots under par.

Jason Dufner was the early pacesetter on as favourites Adam Scott and Tiger Woods struggled to make an impression.

The 2013 PGA Championship winner picked up five birdies over 10 holes of the heavily remodelled Blue Monster course to lead Russell Henley by one stroke before play was suspended due to approaching storms.

Patrick Reed had briefly shot his way into a share of first place with Dufner, but mixed his four birdies with a bogey.

Australia's Scott - who has the chance to become world number one with victory in Florida, should Woods finish outside the top 10 - was largely anonymous on even par while last year's winner Woods sat six strokes off the pace after bogeying the par-three fourth hole.

Scott is Australia's best chance of enjoying success at the tournament after recent WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship winner Jason Day withdrew with an injured left thumb before teeing off on Thursday.

A steady performance from Luke Donald included three birdies and kept the Englishman in a tie for third place with Reed while Bill Haas and Francesco Molinari were level on two-under-par.

It was turning into a day to forget for Brett Rumford, who was never likely to threaten the leading pack after taking 11 strokes to complete the first hole.

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