Dazed and confused McIlroy blames thought process for first-round woes

Matt Grassie
NBC on Yahoo! Sports

Between the European Tour and the PGA Tour, Rory McIlroy has averaged a 66th-place finish over his last five tournaments -- a stretch that includes two missed cuts and an opening-round 78 at the Memorial Tournament in June.

With these numbers in mind, it's not a surprise that the former No. 1-ranked player in the world entered the Open Championship as a longshot to lift the claret jug. But nobody anticipated McIlroy's 8-over 79 in the first round, which left the Northern Irishman tied for 134th and 13 shots off the lead. When asked about the disastrous start, a clearly exasperated McIlroy cited mental struggles.

“Sometimes I feel like I’m walking around out there and I’m unconscious," the two-time major champion said. "I just need to try to think more.”