Rory throws his toys out of the pram

The world’s number one golfer Rory McIlroy is beginning to show his age. That is, just out of adolescence. A poor round at Wentworth resulted in a very juvenile temper tantrum.

After his second shot at the par-five 12th hole ran out of bounds, McIlroy threw his club away, although he managed to restrain himself from roiling around on the grass wailing "not fair".

It was an inauspicious start to the tournament, especially as McIlroy had enjoyed telling everybody in the pre-tournament press conference that he was the "best golfer in the world". Statistically that is true, but on current form, his ranking might not last much longer.

Afterwards, when he had time to calm down and been soothed by his caddie. McIlroy admitted that frustration had got the better of him. "I struggled to get the pace of the greens today," he said. "A bit of deja vu from last year, when I got off to a good start but made a few bogeys around the turn and couldn't get the momentum back."

It was a bad day for the Irish golfers. McIlroy’s compatriot Graeme McDowell was exploring the rough trying to identify his ball when he inadvertently disturbed it. It cost him two shots, for moving the ball and failing to replace it properly. Sometimes golf’s stricter rules can seem very unfair.

Ernie Els offered a pithy comment on the offices of the Royal and Ancient in St Andrews where such penalties are conceived. "There's obviously a lot of gin-swigging up there," the South African said with a sardonic smile.

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