ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates — With Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods struggling, fifth-ranked Justin Rose and unheralded Jamie Donaldson had 5-under 67s Thursday for a one-shot lead after the opening round of the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship.
McIlroy, playing with new clubs following his multimillion dollar sponsorship deal with Nike, finished with a 75 and risks missing the cut. Woods shot an even-par 72.
McIlroy repeatedly missed fairways, including a shot on his 12th that hit a tree and ended up in a parking lot, leading 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.
The top-ranked McIlroy insisted his difficulties had more to do with rusty strokes than new equipment.
Mickelson opens season
At La Quinta, Calif., Phil Mickelson opened his season with an eventful even-par 72 in the Humana Challenge, leaving him nine strokes behind the first-round leaders.
Recovering from flu-like symptoms, Mickelson had three birdies, a bogey and a double bogey at La Quinta Country Club.
Jason Kokrak, Roberto Castro and James Hahn topped the leader board at 9-under 63.