Darren Clarke declared himself "totally disgusted" by an opening 75, which
included three bogeys in the last five holes at Royal St George's.
The round left the Irishman seven shots behind early clubhouse leader Hennie Otto.
"I've been struggling all week and it certainly didn't get any better," said
the Ulsterman, outscored by six by playing partner Davis Love.
"I hardly hit a good shot. I was just terrible".
Clarke was joint second in last week's Scottish Open and was fancied by many to perform well this week.
Playing partner Love was six shots better after opening with a two-under 69 and the American acknowledged that Clarke had "got frustrated" during his round.
The Dungannon player carded three birdies and seven bogeys in an erratic round on the Sandwich links.
Padraig Harrington also had to settle for a 75 although the Dubliner was in philosophical mood after his round.
"Funnily enough I actually putted well but didn't drop too many putts," said Harrington.
"I could have had a decent score and that's the strange thing walking off four over par.
"If some of the putts that I thought I'd holed had gone in, I'd be down there around level par.
"It's difficult to hole putts from distance because once you get anywhere away from the hole, you've got two breaks at least."
Kilkenny player Gary Murphy produced a fine performance in some of the worst of the conditions to shoot a 73.
Murphy got to one-under on two occasions on the front nine before turning in level-par 36.
After dropping shots on the 10th and 13th, he then picked up a birdie at the short 16th but he dropped a shot at the closing hole.
The other Irishman in the field Paul McGinley finished on 77, six-over par.