What was supposed to be a special week quickly turned into a funeral on Thursday when Rory McIlroy hooked his opening tee shot out-of-bounds at Royal Portrush's first hole. He eventually walked off with a quadruple-bogey 8, a score he could have recovered from had he not finished his round with an equally bad triple-bogey 7 on the final hole, giving him a first-round 79. While it took 18 holes to finally drive the point home, Rory's week was over before it really started.
Could the Northern Irishman rally and make the weekend? It would take a miracle, especially with the weather rolling in, though that could also push the cut line back, giving McIlroy a decent chance were he to post a special number.
A couple of Royal Portrush fans are not banking on it, at least based off a picture captured by The Open's Twitter account. These guys jumped ship on Rory quicker than Rory ejected from the tournament:
Jeez, how about picking a guy up when he's down, guys? Poor Rory probably already feels like he let the country down (though he'd never say that), and people from that same country can't even stick in his corner. For shame.
Sure, we're obviously reading too much into this, but that's still a quick hook for a local hero. Also, the sign that should be hung up should be for Darren Clarke, the current low Northern Irishman at level par for the week with a few holes left on his back nine. McDowell has gotten off to a good start on Friday though, so they'll leave that sign up for now. Clarke's must be saved for the weekend.