Rory McIlroy's struggles seem to be continuing at this week's WGC-Cadillac Championship in Miami, as a one over par first round sees him already a massive 11 shots off the lead, held by America's JB Holmes. A temporary dip in form maybe? Judging by his performance at last week's Honda Classic in Florida, where he missed the cut, there may be some alarm bells ringing in the McIlroy camp as to what has happened to his game over the last few weeks. He will certainly be looking for an improvement during the second round to move him up the leaderboard, even if he may already be some way off contending for the major placings.
With his nemesis and former world number one, Tiger Woods suffering troubles of his own at present, which require him to take some time off the circuit to recoup, there may have been some in the game that would have expected the 25-year-old Northern Irishman to have a Tiger-esque period of dominance.
However, it seems that even he is 'human' after all. While the Dubliner and former major winner Padraig Harrington was ending his seven year wait for a title at the Honda Classic, McIlroy was already preparing for Miami. That was his first missed cut since June 2014.
His error-strewn second round in Florida could have been down to the rain interruptions that prevented him gaining any real momentum to his play. McIlroy himself summed that round up with: "I felt like I was trying to get something going and couldn't. Coming off three weeks off and playing in conditions like these, it sort of shows you where your game's at." Certainly, prior to Florida he had seemed in fine nick, winning the Dubai Desert Classic in his previous outing. He also described missing the cut as a "kick in the backside" which would probably do him no harm in the long run, although there was also some thought that the winds at the Honda Classic played havoc with his normal game.
He may of course already be allowing his mind to drift to the next major on the calendar, when he will try to complete his career grand slam at the Masters at Augusta in April..
His first round in Miami was essentially a round of two halves. The first nine holes were particularly poor for a man of his golfing ability, as he fell back to four over par, but he did at least rally like a champion is expected to with three birdies and an eagle for his last nine holes. Holmes by contrast shot a remarkable 62 to leave him ten under par and perhaps given the windy conditions, unsurprisingly four shots clear of the rest of the field. #Celebrities