McIlroy, Woods struggle as Donaldson takes lead

January 17, 2013 - 5:32 AM
Mideast Emirates Abu Dhabi Golf Championship

Backdropped by a picture poster, Rory McIlroy from Northern Ireland tees off on the 15th hole during the first round of Abu Dhabi Golf Championship in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Unheralded Jamie Donaldson outshone struggling Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods at the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship in shooting an opening-round 5-under 67 for the early clubhouse lead on Thursday.

McIlroy, playing with new clubs following his multimillion dollar sponsorship deal with Nike, finished with a 3-over 75 and risks missing the cut. He repeatedly missed fairways including a shot on his 12th that hit a tree and ended up in a car park and led to one of his two double-bogeys. He also putted poorly, missing a par putt on his 17th and a birdie putt on the 18th.

Woods, meanwhile, finished even par after a rollercoaster round. He had four birdies to go along with four bogeys and ended his round by three-putting his 18th for a bogey.