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Rory McIlroy crashes and burns at British Open

Rory McIlroy admitted he feels 'brain-dead' after his awful 2013 season continued in an error-laden opening round at  the British Open at Muirfield, Scotland yesterday.

The World No2 fell apart on the back nine Thursday with a 42 off the turn, that culminated in a eight-over 79 all but ruling him out of contention at this early stage.

This latest dismal effort  underlined how much the once ranked best player in golf has fallen since those heady days of dominance last year. In fact, the two-time major winner hasn't won an event since November 2012.

The man who hails from Northern Ireland is a massive 13 shots off the lead that is held by American Zach Johnson, who is ahead of the field at five-under.

McIlroy was at a loss to explain his performance, particularly as he felt he was hitting the ball decently.

“I feel like I’ve been walking around brain dead for the last month. And I don’t know what to do to put it right — it’s a very alien feeling.

“Sometimes I feel like I’m wandering around out there in an unconscious state.”

Rather than look for troubles with his clubs, the mental errors for McIlroy keep adding up. A double bogey on the 12th, another on the 15th. There is now talk of him paying a visit to sports psychologist Bob Rotella.

He added: “I’ve worked with Bob before. It could be beneficial to see someone again.”

There is always talk of McIlroy's multimillion dollar with Nike, or distractions from his relationship to tennis star Caroline Wozniacki, and unless he can pick up his game, these whispers will soon become deafening.

“Once upon a time this game was pretty simple for me. The silly thing is I’m still hitting the ball OK but I can’t put it together mentally.

“I’ve never experienced anything like this. My confidence is very low.”

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