Thursday, July 14, 2011

Rory McIlroy's First Day Back at The Open Championship

Rory McIlroy finished the first day at The Open Championship in Sandwich, England, after a +1 round (72).  He started off the day with a little difficulty, after a couple of putting miscues put him at +2 after just three holes.

Forced to three-putt on the first hole, and then missing a short two-foot put on the third, McIlroy showed a few jitters early on in the first tournament he's played since winning the U.S. Open in June.  However, he was able to settle down and get two birdies the rest of the round (and one more bogey).  Last year, at St. Andrews, McIlroy shot a 63 on the first day, only to play himself out of the tournament with a 80 on the second.
"You say to yourself, there are 69 holes left in the golf tournament," McIlroy said afterward. "It's nice to get the bogeys out of the way early." 
Some will wonder if McIlroy's decision to take a three-week break between the U.S. Open and The Open Championship hampered him today, when perhaps he wasn't used to the sort of attention he received when he arrived at the Royal St. Georges grounds today.  Camera crews followed him everywhere, and the crowd cheered loudest and longest for him.

McIlroy is six strokes behind co-leaders Thomas Bjorn and Englishman Tom Lewis, and tied for 52nd place with 17 others.

Other notable players on the first day:

  • Lucas Glover (66) is at -4
  • Bubba Watson and Steve Stricker are at -1 (69)
  • Phil Mickelson and Sergio Garcia (70) are Even
  • Y.E. Yang, K.J. Choi, and Luke Donald are tied with Rory at +1 (71)
  • Tom Watson, Zach Johnson, and John Daly are at +2 (72)

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