And in his attempt to correct after his wayward drive, the Northern Irishman hit his second shot to the right of the green and into where the spectators were standing.
Unfortunately for McIlroy, his ball hit the calf of his father — who was facing in the opposite direction — and rolled away from the green.
Startled, Gerry looked back at the ball before limping away.
However, Rory had a better idea.
“He’s seen me sign plenty of stuff over the years, so I think that’s the least of his worries,” he told the media afterward. “I think he just needs to go and put some ice on — maybe I’ll autograph a bag of frozen peas for him.”
McIlroy ended up bogeying the hole, his third bogey in a row.
The 31-year-old, who is looking to win the Masters to complete his career grand slam, had his problems throughout the opening round.
The old phrase says: “You can’t win a golf tournament on the first day, but you can lose it.” And McIlroy’s chances of winning might already be over. He finished the day four over with six bogeys in total.
Although he has recently taken on a new coach, he struggled for consistency off the tee, with the ball hooking and shanking across the course.
Like many other opening rounds of majors, McIlroy failed to put up a challenging score, with his putting early on not bailing him out at all.
He found the water a few times and it looks like it will be a tall order for the world No. 11 to come back and claim the famous and elusive green jacket.