Shane Lowry had a day to forget at the Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass as he struggled to find any form en route to a five-over-par 77 on Thursday.
The Irishman’s frustration with his game came to a head on the 15th hole when he took on a risky shot from the trees at the par 4 and failed to escape. After swearing and hitting his club against a tree in anger, he snapped the club off his knees, breaking it in two.
The shot resulted in a double-bogey 6 and with four other bogeys on his round, a sole birdie at the second hole, it all added up to 77 and tied 127th place.
Lowry drove and putted poorly, ranking almost bottom of the field in both categories, hitting only four of 14 fairways and taking 2.111 putts per GIR.
Earlier on Thursday, Rory McIlroy also struggled in the same facets of the game, as he carded only a shot better, a four-over-par 76.
Séamus Power was two shots better again after a two-over-par 74, but was well off the pace on a difficult first day for the Irish golfers.
American Chad Ramey leads on eight under, one shot ahead of Collin Morikawa on seven under. World number two Scottie Scheffler is four back of the lead on four under.