Open Golf: McIlroy and Rose struggle on day one

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Britain's last two Major champions both lie well over-par after the first round of the 2013 Open

Rory McIlroy and Justin Rose both struggled during a frustrating first round at Muirfield.

McIlroy was nicely poised at one-over through nine holes, but a spectacular collapse on the back nine – which included four bogeys as well as double bogeys at 12 and 15 – saw him eventually slump to eight-over-par.

The two-time Major champion was unable to explain what exactly went wrong on the course.

“I felt like I got off to a decent start,” said McIlroy. “The start of the back nine obviously wasn’t very good.

“I wish I could say what’s wrong or what I need to do to make it right but I feel like I’ve got the shots, it’s just a matter of going through the right thought processes.

Sometimes I feel like I’m walking around out there a bit unconscious. I can’t really fathom it at the minute “It’s not technique, it’s not that I need to concentrate, but sometimes I feel like I’m walking around out there a bit unconscious. I can’t really fathom it at the minute.”

The Northern Irishman also acknowledged that he would have to be mentally stronger heading into the weekend.

“I felt like I struck the ball okay. So long as I can somewhat get my mind in a better place, you know, I can go out there and try and shoot a good score tomorrow.”

US Open champion Justin Rose also found the going tough on the opening day. The Englishman was solid for the most part, but bogeys at the 6th, 9th and 14th – as well as a double bogey at the 15th – saw him end the day on four-over-par.

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