sport news Rory McIlroy struggles on 18th hole at Honda Classic

Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy negotiated 'The Bear Trap' but stumbled on Palm Beach Gardens' punishing 18th to finish the opening round of the Honda Classic six shots off the lead.

It was a better day for compatriot Graham McDowell and England's Tommy Fleetwood, who - along with Tiger Woods - were two shots off the top of pack after even-par rounds of 70.

Ahead of them Sweden's Alex Noren and American Webb Simpson were tied for the lead after scores of 66 left them four under par in Florida.

Rory McIlroy ended up six shots off the lead after the first round of the Honda Classic in Florida

Rory McIlroy ended up six shots off the lead after the first round of the Honda Classic in Florida

McIlroy had to take a drop shot as he came unstuck on the 18th hole at Palm Beach Gardens

McIlroy had to take a drop shot as he came unstuck on the 18th hole at Palm Beach Gardens

The Northern Irishman ultimately carded a double bogey on the last hole to set him back

The Northern Irishman ultimately carded a double bogey on the last hole to set him back

McIlroy struggled with blustery conditions on the Palm Beach course as his round went awry 

McIlroy struggled with blustery conditions on the Palm Beach course as his round went awry 

Completing the first round level with reigning Masters champion Sergio Garcia on two over, McIlroy had looked to be in good shape as he carded two birdies on the third and fourth.

However, blustery conditions accompanied bogies on the sixth and seventh and the former world number one failed to break par for 10 holes straight.

McIlroy cleared the challenging 15th, 16th and 17th holes - dubbed The Bear Trap - on par, but fell victim to the 556-yard 18th to card a double bogey.

The 2012 champion told the PGA website: 'It was a pretty tough day. (The) wind was up, (the) greens got a little sort of crusty and firm.

McIlroy plays a shot from the bunker on the 16th hole on what he described as a 'tough day'

McIlroy plays a shot from the bunker on the 16th hole on what he described as a 'tough day'

England's Tommy Fleetwood enjoyed a slightly better day, finishing his round even-par

England's Tommy Fleetwood enjoyed a

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