Frustrated McIlroy tosses his club

Rory McIlroy was so frustrated after pulling his approach into the water at Doral on Friday that his club soon followed suit.

The World No 1 got off to a bad start at the WGC-Cadillac Championship in round one, struggling for consistency in much the same way as he had the week before at the Honda Classic.

Things didn’t get much better in the second round, with two opening birdies quickly followed by successive bogeys at the third and fourth.

Moments after carding his third birdie of the day at the seventh, he pulled his approach to the par-five eighth – a hole he had eagled on Thursday – into the water.

McIlroy gave it a few seconds’ thought before hurling the offending long iron into the same stretch of water on his way to recording a six, his third bogey of the day.

It is not the first time McIlroy’s frustrations have got the better of him. At the US Open in 2013 he apologised for throwing one club and leaning so hard on another during the final round that he bent the shaft out of shape.

And that came just months after he walked off the course midway through the second round of the Honda Classic, where he was defending champion, telling reporters he was in “a bad place mentally”.

McIlroy’s struggles over the last two weeks are surprising, however, considering the level of success he’s enjoyed during the last eight months.

There was no hint of poor form in his two opening tournaments of the year in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, but since starting to play in the US, McIlroy has struggled for consistency.

The Northern Irishman was 10 shots adrift of leader JB Holmes midway through the second round, though there is no halfway cut to worry about at the event.

Unsurprisingly, it didn’t take McIlroy long to return to his good-natured self. After signing for a two-under-par 70 that left him one under for the tournament, he apologised for his momentary outburst.

“Frustration got the better of me,” he told Sky Sports. “Following on from last week I feel like it’s very close and to hit shots like that you get frustrated, but I shouldn’t have did what I did.

“It all bottled up and I had to let it go somehow and that’s what happened. I don’t feel good about doing it but I will hopefully have a new three iron on the way in the morning and be able to got out and play with another one.

“I wouldn’t encourage kids at home to do the same thing. It felt good at the time but right now I regret it. I walked away with a bogey but was able to re-group and shoot a decent score.”