The Open morning headlines: Rory’s shocking start
July 18, 2019
By Staff, PGATOUR.COM
- July 18, 2019
- Rory McIlroy recorded a quadruple-bogey 8 on the first hole during the opening round of The Open Championship. (Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
If you’re just waking up, here’s what you missed during the first few hours of Thursday’s opening round of The Open Championship at Royal Portrush.
PORTRUSH, Northern Ireland – Rory McIlroy, Northern Ireland’s native son and a big favorite this week, started his opening round in shocking fashion – a quadruple bogey on the par-4 first.
McIlroy, who famously shot a course-record 61 at age 16 on the previous Royal Portrush layout, received a huge ovation when he was announced on the tee. But then his tee shot sailed out-of-bounds left. After his two playing partners – reigning U.S. Open champ Gary Woodland and Paul Casey – teed off, McIlroy had to re-tee, and his next tee shot found the rough.
He two-putted for the quadruple bogey, tying for his worst score in a single hole in his major championship career.
McIlroy followed by failing to birdie the par-5 second hole, then bogeyed the par-3 third when he missed the green with his tee shot. That left him 5 over through three holes.
It was a nightmare start for the man who carries the weight of so many expectations from his countrymen this week.
MEANWHILE, IN OTHER IRISH NEWS: Shane Lowry shot 3 under through his first nine holes and then birdied the 10th, giving him a share of the early lead at 4 under.
Portrush native Graeme McDowell, whose home club of Rathmore is just outside the ticketed grounds, birdied the second hole and was 1 under through six.
Royal Portrush member and Northern Ireland native Darren Clarke opened the tournament – Northern Ireland’s first Open in 68 years – by hitting the first tee shot and birdied three of his first five holes. He encountered trouble on the back nine, though and was even par through 17 holes.
Amateur James Sugrue from Ireland, one of Clarke’s playing partners, also started well, 2 under through six holes and was even par through 17.
Irishman Padraig Harrington was 2 under through five but fell back with four bogeys in his next 6 holes.
GRILLO’S ACE: Emiliano Grillo aced the 194-yard par-3 13th. It’s the 33rd ace on the PGA TOUR this season. Also, it’s the first time since 2004 that at least one ace has been recorded at each of the majors and THE PLAYERS Championship.
THE X MAN: Xander Schauffele, who has played so well in the majors this season – T2, T16, T3 – and was runner-up at last year’s Open, started with birdies in his first two holes and then moved to 3 under through five before suffering a bogey at the sixth. Looks like the American is headed for another good week.
MAC ATTACK: Scotland’s Bob MacIntyre, who played collegiately in the U.S. at McNeese State, had the best early stretch, including a hole-out for eagle at the par-4 fifth. He was 4 under through eight holes.
TIGER’S TEE TIME: Tiger Woods will tee off at 10:10 a.m. ET with Patrick Reed and Matthew Wallace. Check PGATOUR.COM for hole-by-hole coverage of Tiger’s round.