Rory McIlroy’s hopes of winning the British Open evaporated after the first round yesterday with a disastrous 79.

The World’s No 2 ranked golfer’s massive slump continues and he now believes he needs a psychologist to help him. At one point yesterday he putted off the green into a bunker.

McIlroy may now seek assistance from Bob Rotella, the famed sports psychologist who has worked with fellow Irishman Padraig Harrington among others.

"It's a very alien feeling, it's something I've never felt before," added the 24-year-old.

"I have worked with Bob before a little bit. And, yes, it could be beneficial to see someone like that again. We'll see.

"You have just got to try and play your way out of it," McIlroy said. "But it's nothing to do with technique. It's all mental out there. And then I just need to concentrate, obviously.

"But sometimes I feel like I'm walking around out there and I'm unconscious. I just need to try to think more. I'm trying to focus and trying to concentrate. But I can't really fathom it at the minute, and it's hard to stand up here and tell you guys what's really wrong.

"It's just so brain dead. Seriously, I feel like I've been walking around out there like that for the last couple of months. I'm trying to get out of it. I just don't quite know why.

"I feel like I drove the ball okay, but the thing is you have got to be so precise on this golf course, I felt like I had a couple of good drives that went in the rough.

"I feel like I'm hitting the ball okay. But I just can't put it altogether mentally out there. I'm definitely under-thinking on the golf course, maybe over-thinking it off of it.

"I want to try to be here for the weekend," said McIlroy. "But the thing that I need to do tomorrow is just go out there and freewheel it and try and make birdies and try and play with that little bit of whatever it is I have usually. That's what I've to try and go out and do tomorrow, even though it's going to be tough to make birdies out there, obviously."