Rory McIlroy turned-in a horrid display with the putter in posting a one-over 72 in his eventual first round of the rain-affected Genesis Open in suburban L A.
McIlroy, who again played alongside tournament host, Tiger Woods got the start he wanted holing a 15-footer for birdie at the first and moved to two-under par with a birdie on eight. It would be the peak of McIlroy’s day after three-putting the short uphill ninth for bogey.
Three days earlier McIlroy bet caddie, Harry Diamond he could chip in for birdie from an awkward lie to the left of the ninth green.
McIlroy joked: “If I get this Harry, you buy dinner and we’ll have a nice bottle of 1982 Chateau Latour”.
And the last thing McIlroy needed after misery of the ninth green was a 15-minute wait on the driveable par-4 10th tee.
Both Woods and Justin Thomas birdied the 10th hole with McIlroy, who was just off the green, managing par.
McIlroy was then in rough left off 11, taking par, right in rough in taking bogey at 12, and the left again, behind trees and then three-putting for bogey on 13.
He pared 14, found a first fairway on the back nine at 15, pared 16, 17 and at the last walked off with a par.
Statistics-wise McIlroy managed to hit just 7 of 14 fairways but officially posted 35 putts and 36 if you count being just off the green left at 10.
Wood joined McIlroy in a short 45-minute lunch break before they were back on the tee for their second rounds.
And Woods was also in the wars with the putter taking four three-putts in his score of a one-under par 70.
“Overall, it wasn’t good as I hit it well and just putted awful,” said Woods.
“To have four three-putts was ridiculous but it was nice to salvage something in the middle of my round which was nice.”
A year ago, McIlroy shot 71 in the company of Woods who was competing in just his second event back from a fourth back operation and bravely shot 72.
Struggling Seamus Power ended his round with a smile on his face despite dropping a shot at his 18th hole in a round of a one-under par 70.
The West Waterford golfer, and contesting the event for a first occasion, was two-over after three holes but regrouped with birdies at his fifth, seventh, 10th and 16th holes.
“It wasn’t an ideal start, but it was a good fight-back but then it’s a very tricky golf course and my first time playing here, so still very much feeling my way around” he said.
“In saying that, it’s a fun course to play and overall one-under is not too bad and hopefully I can build on that.”
Power arrived at Riviera and desperate to correct a slide that has seen him miss seven halfway cuts in succession and play just four rounds in one of nine events since earning full 2018/19 Tour status.
Round two is now underway