Rory McIlroy's Open Championship got off to a disastrous start on Thursday, as the pre-tournament betting favorite carded a quadruple-bogey 8 on the first hole at Royal Portrush en route to an 8-over 79 for the day.
McIlroy, who grew up about 60 miles from the iconic course, tugged his opening tee shot out of bounds with an iron before finding the deep rough on his next swing. His approach then landed in the greenside gorse, causing the 2014 champion to take an unplayable lie.
The 30-year-old then pitched onto the green with his sixth stroke, only to miss his short putt and finish with a quadruple-bogey on the short par-4.
While the nightmare start would be brutal at any tournament, the fact that McIlroy - and the adoring crowd - had such high hopes for The Open's first event in Northern Ireland since 1951 added extra sting to Thursday's calamity.
This wasn't the first time that McIlroy suffered a horrific start at the Open Championship. The first six holes of the 2017 event at Royal Birkdale saw the Ulsterman sit near the bottom of the field at 5-over-par. However, McIlroy quickly turned things around and charged up the leaderboard to finish the tournament in fourth place.
That wouldn't be the case on Thursday, as McIlroy double-bogeyed the 16th and triple-bogeyed the final hole to finish 12 shots back of clubhouse leader Shane Lowry.