Rory McIlroy inadvertently hit his father Gerry with a wayward shot as he struggled to an opening 76 on day one of the 85th Masters.

McIlroy was already two over par when he pushed his approach to the seventh hole to the right of the green, where it bounced and caught his father on the back of the leg.

"I knew it was my dad when I was aiming at him," said McIlroy. "Probably 30 seconds before it hit him."

The former world number one had at least shouted the traditional warning of "Fore" and Gerry was able to see the funny side, joking with reporters: "I should ask for an autographed glove."

McIlroy was unable to save par on the seventh and, after carding his first birdie of the day on the par-five eighth, three-putted the next to reach the turn in three over par.

The 31-year-old needs to win the Masters to complete a career grand slam but has struggled for form recently and has started consulting coach Pete Cowen on a formal basis.

His lack of form continued at Augusta as he made an inauspicious start, signing for a round of 76 that left him well off the pace.

A solid start to the day where the rattled off four pars fell apart with bogeys on the 5th, 6th and 7th. He stopped the rot slightly with a birdie on the 8th but another bogey followed that and he sat on +3 at the turn.

Things hardly improved for him on the back nine as he hit bogeys on the 11th and 13th while a birdie on the 15th saw him eventually finish the day on +4.

There is a glimmer of hope for McIlroy however as at last year's Masters, he bounced back from an opening 75 to finish tied for fifth, albeit the tournament was played in much softer November conditions.

McIlroy's last major title came in the 2014 US PGA Championship and he is without a win of any description since November 2019.