Shane Lowry had a day to forget at round one of the Players Championship on Thursday.
The 2019 Open champion struggled through a round which included four bogies, and a double bogey on the 15th.
At the 15th hole, Lowry finally lost his patience during a frustrating round, ultimately snapping his club in half after hitting a tree from the rough.
Shane Lowry snaps club during round to forget at Sawgrass
Shane Lowry endured a difficult opening day at the Players Championship on Thursday, carding a 77 to end the day five over par, and 13 shots off the lead in T127.
He may have been able to salvage a better score were it not for a disaster at the 15th hole, where he found himself off the fairway and in the midst of trees on the approach to the green.
When Lowry tried to free his ball from its position behind one of the trees, he could only ricochet it off another tree, instantly landing back in the wooded area. The Offaly man could be heard cursing on the TV microphones, before taking a swipe at one of the trees with his club and eventually snapping it in half.
Shane Lowry hits a tree and then SNAPS his club! 😳😤 pic.twitter.com/rc3S6ck4fs
— Sky Sports Golf (@SkySportsGolf) March 9, 2023
Lowry has struggled thus far in 2023, with just one top ten finish so far at February's Honda Classic, where he finished T5.
His fellow Irishman Rory McIlroy did not fare much better at Sawgrass on Thursday, struggling to a 76 to sit just one shot ahead of Lowry, during a round which also saw him make several excursions off course.
One did, admittedly, bring the shot of the day from the trees at 16, as McIlroy found the green across the pond, but that was a rare glimmer in an otherwise disappointing round.
What a shot from Rory McIlroy at Sawgrass 😳pic.twitter.com/RImvV8P4Po
— Balls.ie (@ballsdotie) March 9, 2023
His round was summed up by following his sensational shot on 16 with a three-putt.
After he closed on four over par, McIlroy explained his struggles, saying that he found the rough tougher than ever on Thursday, and said that he had let opportunities slip by with silly mistakes:
I feel like this is as penal as I've seen it out of the rough for a long time. I think you'd have to go back to when the tournament was played in May, when we were in Bermuda rough, for it to be as penal as that. Yeah, you don't hit it on the fairway here, you're going to struggle.
I made a good birdie on 11 and was solid enough. Missed a couple of chances.
The three-putt on 16 was probably the one that sort of stopped any momentum. I hit a really good shot out of the pine straw there and didn't capitalize on that, and making bogey on 1 and bogey on 3 sort of was tough to get it back from there.
Irish fans will hope for a turnaround in fortunes for Shane Lowry and Rory McIlroy on Friday but, after their respective rounds on Thursday, it seems like it will be a chase to make the cut rather than a chase for any trophies this weekend.