World No. 1 McIlroy toils at Wentworth as Donald makes solid start
May 24, 2012 -- Updated 2058 GMT (0458 HKT)
World No. 1 Rory McIlroy struggled on the opening day of the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth
- World No. 1 Rory McIlroy toils on the opening day of the BMW PGA Championship
- Northern Irishman hurls club at one stage as he cards a round of two-over-par
- Luke Donald can usurp McIlroy's top ranking this week and he sits on four-under
- David Drysdale and Peter Lawrie lead after the first day on six-under
(CNN) -- World No. 1 Rory McIlroy lost his cool in the midst of a heatwave at the BMW PGA Championship as Luke Donald stepped up his challenge to usurp the 2011 U.S. Open champion at the top of the rankings.
McIlroy, from Northern Ireland, struggled to a two-over-par round of 74 on the opening day at the Wentworth course while Donald, the defending champion, sits within striking distance of the leaders on four-under.
Donald can regain the No. 1 spot with victory at the tournament and must finish in the top eight to have a chance of overtaking McIlroy. His six birdies helped him into a tie for eighth place.
Scotland's David Drysdale and Ireland's Peter Lawrie lead on six-under after day one with England's Justin Rose and Alavaro Quiros, from Spain, in a group of five players one shot back.
Donald targets No. 1 spot after European Tour award
McIlroy's round included a run of four bogeys in five holes and at one stage he hurled a club to the floor in frustration after a poor shot.
I feel like I'm playing pretty well, I just need to go out there and shoot a score
"It's a bit of deja vu from last year," he told reporters. "I kept getting off to good starts and sort of making a few bogeys around the turn and not getting any momentum back.
"Two under through seven, feel like I'm playing well, then I make four bogeys in five holes. It's pretty disappointing and I feel like I'm playing pretty well, I just need to go out there and shoot a score."
McIlroy's compatriot Graeme McDowell's round turned sour shortly after he'd walked off the 18th green as his ball was shown to have moved prior to hitting his second shot from the rough on the closing hole.
The 2010 U.S. Open champion was unaware the ball had moved and he was penalised two strokes -- one for not replacing the ball into its original position and one for striking it from the wrong place.
It turned his round of level par into a round of two-over. He told reporters: "How are you supposed to attempt to place the ball when you're not sure it's moved in the first place? It's just a harsh one -- one of those freak scenarios in golf.
"It's my fault. I probably should have called for a referee. That would have saved me one shot, but what are you supposed to do -- the whole area was sort of bouncing.
"I was aware of it and asked for it to be looked at. The rules are there for everybody's protection."
Three-time major champion Ernie Els, from South Africa, is on four-under and compatriot Charl Schwartzel, the 2011 Masters champion, finished on three-under.
Former world No. 1 Lee Westwood, who was beaten by Donald in a playoff at last year's tournament, birdied the last to finish two-under.
Part of complete coverage on
September 12, 2014 -- Updated 1251 GMT (2051 HKT)
It's a big dilemma: Be with your wife for the birth of your first child, or stay at work and try to earn $11 million. For Billy Horschel, it's a no-brainer.
September 12, 2014 -- Updated 1140 GMT (1940 HKT)
She's just 19 but Hyo Joo Kim is already showing she's ready for the big time after recording the lowest ever round at a major championship.
September 10, 2014 -- Updated 1706 GMT (0106 HKT)
Masters champion Bubba Watson says winning the $10 million FedEx Cup jackpot would bring forward his retirement from the game.
September 12, 2014 -- Updated 1131 GMT (1931 HKT)
The world's top women golfers will be chasing a $3.25 million prize purse at one of the most stunning courses on the LPGA Tour.
September 3, 2014 -- Updated 1219 GMT (2019 HKT)
Tom Watson selects Keegan Bradley, Hunter Mahan and Webb Simpson as his wildcard picks for the Ryder Cup contest with Europe.
September 2, 2014 -- Updated 1352 GMT (2152 HKT)
Ian Poulter, who has constantly haunted the U.S. in Ryder Cup golf, is back after being chosen as a wildcard by European captain Paul McGinley.
August 25, 2014 -- Updated 1540 GMT (2340 HKT)
Tiger Woods has split with his longtime coach Sean Foley after not winning a major during their four-year tenure.
August 11, 2014 -- Updated 1105 GMT (1905 HKT)
Success just keeps on coming for Rory McIlroy, but the world No. 1 is already targeting more titles following his second PGA Championship win.
August 8, 2014 -- Updated 1424 GMT (2224 HKT)
From Seve's "spine-shivering" moment to Jack Nicklaus' "perfect explosion," David Cannon has captured many of golf's defining images.
August 7, 2014 -- Updated 1320 GMT (2120 HKT)
They came home as casualties of war -- physically shattered and mentally broken. But golf is proving to be an unlikely salvation for U.S. veterans.
August 5, 2014 -- Updated 1231 GMT (2031 HKT)
You are the one hitting the shots, but the man standing over your shoulder could hold the key to your golfing destiny.
July 21, 2014 -- Updated 1227 GMT (2027 HKT)
He has been there for all three of his son's major wins, but the latest triumph may well have been the sweetest yet for Rory McIlroy's father.
Today's five most popular stories