Rory McIlroy had a bad day at the office as he fired a three-over-par 75 in the first round of the Abu Dhabi Championship.
The 23-year-old had two double bogeys, driving out of bounds at his third.
Welshman Jamie Donaldson and England’s Justin Rose lead at five under.
McIlroy said: “I was really happy with the way the ball is in the wind. Really happy with the irons, the wedge play. I wasn’t very comfortable off the tee, but just because I didn’t feel like I was swinging it that well.
“It wasn’t quite what I wanted, but it’s a case of going and working a little bit on the range this afternoon and hopefully going out tomorrow and playing a little bit better and making the weekend.
“It’s a little bit of a experimental period and I’ve got four weeks off after this tournament to get used to it, but I feel if I can swing it a little better I can still have some good rounds here.”
Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley had two double bogeys in a 76, a score equalled by former skippers Colin Montgomerie and Jose Mara Olazabal, while a former vice-captain,
Darren Clarke, bogeyed seven of his inward nine holes for a 79.