Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods toiled as wind and rain lashed down on the opening round at Royal Portrush in the first British Open held in Northern Ireland for 68 years
|Tiger Woods struggled on day one of the British Open on Thursday AFP/ANDY BUCHANAN|
AFP Sport looks at four key moments from Thursday’s play:
McIlroy’s dreams of lifting the Claret Jug come Sunday barely made it beyond the first hole after a disastrous quadruple-bogey eight got the home favourite off to the worst possible start.
The four-time major winner hooked his opening iron shot out of bounds, hitting a watching fan and reportedly breaking her mobile phone in the process.
The world number three then pulled his second shot from the tee into the rough, had to take a drop after finding an unplayable lie next to the green and two-putted.
After steadying the ship to reach the 16th just three over, worse was to come for McIlroy as he missed a gimmie putt to double bogey and then made a triple bogey on the last to finish eight over.
“I’m pretty sure anyone starting with a 79 in this golf tournament doesn’t think about winning at this point,” said McIlroy, who now must refind his form just to make the cut.
TWENTY’S PLENTY FOR DUVAL
Salt was rubbed into David Duval’s wounds when two hours after he finally reached the clubhouse, his round of 90 was amended up to 91 and 20 over par.
The worst round at the Open for 22 years hinged on a 14 at the par-five seventh as Duval lost two balls off the tee, then continued with the wrong ball incurring a two-shot penalty and having reached the green, was sent back to start again from the tee.
“A very unique, awful situation,” said the 2001 Open champion, who remains determined to come back and do it all again tomorrow despite suffering from tendonitis in his left arm.
Emiliano Grillo is unlikely to trouble those at the top of the leaderboard, but had the shot of the day to remember with a hole in one on the 13th.
The Argentine looked as surprised as anyone when his tee shot pitched onto the front of the green, rolled kindly into the hole for very much the highlight in a two over par round of 73.
On a day that showed even the greats can be made to look like amateurs on the links, Woods’s patience was also put to the test on the seventh.
Par fives normally represent a chance for the 15-time major winner to attack, but Woods chopped his way through a series of bad lies, barely moving the ball at all for three strokes before a brilliant approach ensured he dropped only the one shot.
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