Rory McIlroy looks for his ball off the 10th fairway on Thursday.

Rory McIlroy tries to find his ball off the 10th fairway on Thursday.

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Rory McIlroy held the title as protecting Gamers champ for an additional year after the 2020 edition was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, however McIlroy is currently in huge difficulty on the very first early morning of his defense.

McIlroy, beginning on the back 9 at TPC Sawgrass’ Arena Course, opened with a double bogey after he drove it left into a danger on 10. A three-putt on 13 likewise resulted in a bogey, however his most significant miscue began the challenging par-4 18th.

Among the hardest closing holes on Trip, the 18th plays to a narrow fairway that flexes around a lake. McIlroy over-cooked his drain the tee and discovered the water, dropped in front of the tee box and struck it into the lake once again. His 5th shot was from 209 backyards out and discovered the green, however he three-putted from 60 for a quadruple bogey.

The 18th-hole catastrophe put a bow on McIlroy’s seven-over 43. If the protecting champ wishes to stay for the weekend, he now has his work cut out for him. Follow all of the action here.

Defending Players champ Rory McIlroy off to disastrous start at Sawgrass

Josh Berhow

Golf.com Editor

Josh Berhow is the handling editor at GOLF.com. The Minnesota native finished with a journalism degree from Minnesota State University in Mankato. You can reach him at joshua_berhow@golf.com.

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