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Rory McIlroy struggles in first round of Houston Open

Rory McIlroy
Rory McIlroy is joint 87th after a poor start in Houston

Rory McIlroy fired a disappointing two-over-par 74 in Thursday's opening round of the Shell Houston Open.

The 20-year-old from Holywood started from the 10th and he slipped to four over before recovering to pick up birdies at the fifth and eighth holes.

Dubliner Padraig Harrington shot an impressive 69 in Texas to lie tied seventh and two shots off the pace.

Joint leaders American Kevin Stadler and Cameron Percy are one shot clear of the field on five under.

McIlroy birdied the 13th but that was sandwiched between bogeys at the 12th and 14th.

Another shot was dropped at the first before a double-bogey seven at the fourth saw McIlroy slip towards the bottom of the field.

Making the cut will be the immediate priority for the Northern Irishman in the second round.

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see also
McIlroy buoyed by Nicklaus advice
10 Mar 10 |  Golf
McDowell suffers nightmare finish
07 Mar 10 |  Golf
McIlroy exits from WGC Match Play
18 Feb 10 |  Golf

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