The Latest: McIlroy Shoots 79 After Wild Opening Round
PORTRUSH, Northern Ireland (AP) — The Latest on first round of The British Open (all times local):
A quadruple-bogey 8 at the first hole might not have been the most embarrassing part of Rory McIlroy's wild opening round at the British Open.
Three-putting from 4 feet for a double at the par-3 16th also left the Northern Irishman shaking his head, and another double at No. 18 saw him stumble home for an 8-over 79. It tied his worst first round at the British Open.
McIlroy was 12 strokes off the lead, his major drought almost certainly extending to a sixth year.
Tiger Woods got up and down from a greenside bunker to make par on his opening hole as rain returned to Royal Portrush.
Shane Lowry remained in sole possession of the clubhouse lead at 4 under.
Jordan Spieth was only a shot behind making three birdies in his first five holes.
Graeme McDowell had to wipe a tear from his eye when he teed off in his hometown at the British Open.
That gave way to frustration at the end of his round.
McDowell, born and raised in Portrush and a member at adjacent Rathmore Golf Club, was one shot out of the early lead when he three-putted for bogey on the 15th and dropped another shot on the 17th. Then, he sent his drive well to the right on the 18th hole into grass so thick that he never found the golf ball in the three minutes allowed for the search.
He went back to the tee for his third shot and missed a 7-foot putt to take triple bogey.
On the leaderboard for so much of his round, he signed for a 73.
Shane Lowry has set the early target in the British Open with a 4-under 67, eight shots lower than his best opening round in the other three majors this year. And making it extra special was doing it on Irish soil.
Among those one shot behind was Dylan Frittelli, the last man to qualify for the Open by winning the John Deere Classic. He was joined by Sergio Garcia, Webb Simpson and Alex Noren, along with another player who might need some introduction.
Bob MacIntyre of Scotland made it into his first Open with a pair of runner-up finishes on the European Tour this year to get into the top 20 in the points list. He has one career victory since turning pro. That was two years ago at the Sahara Kuwait Golf Championship on the MENA Tour, which stands for Middle East North Africa.
MacIntyre was tied with Lowry until a bogey on the final hole. Still, it was an impressive debut.
Rory McIlroy's opening tee shot hit a woman out of bounds and broke a cell phone in her pocket.
The R&A said a 34-year-old woman from Northern Ireland was standing along the side of the first fairway when she was hit by the errant shot.
McIlroy had to take a provisional tee shot and ended up with a quadruple-bogey 8 on the first hole.
The weather is changing at the British Open, and so is Rory McIlroy's score.
After a dry start to the tournament at Royal Portrush, the rain started to fall a few minutes before No. 1-ranked Brooks Koepka was ready to tee off.
McIlroy, who knows the course by the North Atlantic well, opened with a quadruple-bogey 8 and added another bogey on the third. But he pulled one back on the seventh and another on the ninth to go out in 3-over 39.
Kevin Kisner, who led for the first three rounds at Carnoustie last year, was at 4 under after eight holes, the same score as clubhouse leader Shane Lowry of Ireland.
Sunny spells are expected to return later in the day.
David Duval posted a 13 on the par-5 seventh hole at the British Open.
The 2001 champion also had a quadruple-bogey 8 on the fifth at Royal Portrush. He birdied the first two holes and is 11 over through eight.
Duval won at Royal Lytham & St. Annes 18 years ago but now spends more time as a golf commentator than he does playing professional events.
Rory McIlroy found the thick rough again at the British Open, this time on No. 5, but he managed to save par with a chip onto the green and a pair of putts for a 4.
McIlroy came into the tournament as one of favorites, partly because he set the course record at Royal Portrush when he was a 16-year-old amateur. But he took a quadruple-bogey 8 on the first hole and then another bogey on the third to put him at 5 over — nine strokes behind leaders Sergio Garcia, Shane Lowry, Alex Noren and Webb Simpson.
Rory McIlroy went out of bounds on his first shot of the British Open, then left his ball unplayable in thick brush near the green and ended up with a quadruple-bogey 8.
The 2014 champion holds the course record at Royal Portrush, shooting a 61 when he was 16 in the North of Ireland Amateur.
McIlroy went out of bounds left in an internal area of the course off the tee. After hitting his provisional left again into the rough, his approach cleared a bunker but landed in a patch of thick grass and he was forced to drop. He chipped onto the green but missed a 6-foot putt.
Heading into this year's tournament, the first in Northern Ireland since Royal Portrush hosted the event in 1951, McIlroy was considered to be a strong contender for a second British Open title.
Emiliano Grillo hit the first hole-in-one of this year's British Open.
The 26-year-old Argentine put his shot on the green and it pitched left, rolled down the bank and dropped in the hole on No. 13.
Grillo then threw his ball into the crowd at Royal Portrush.
The hole-in-one put Grillo at even par. He also put up three birdies on the front nine, but a triple bogey on the fourth hole and pair of other bogeys had left him at 2 over.
Early sun, clouds, a few raindrops, wind, even a rainbow. Royal Portrush has it all, and the British Open is not even three hours old.
Darren Clarke, who hit the opening tee for the first Open in his native Northern Ireland since 1951, made the turn in a sporty 2-under 34. His only blunder was a shot off the hosel of his club on the par-5 seventh that squirted so far right he had to take an unplayable lie from thick grass. He escaped with a bogey.
Clarke is the only player to have reached 3 under at any point. Two-time Open champion Padraig Harrington was among those at 2 under on the front nine. Phil Mickelson was struggling. He was 1 over through four holes but has yet to have a serious look at birdie.
Darren Clarke considered the opening tee shot on home soil to be an honor.
That doesn't mean it was ceremonial.
The 50-year-old Clarke, whose game was honed at Royal Portrush as a junior, birdied the opening hole to throaty applause. And then he birdied the par-3 third and the tough fifth that runs out toward the North Atlantic.
That put him at 3 under heading to the sixth hole.
With only a light breeze and a links slightly softened by rain, Royal Portrush was not at its toughest. But of the 18 players to have completed one hole, five were under par.
Darren Clarke never hit a tee shot at Royal Portrush quite like this.
The silver claret jug on display next to him, Clarke hit the opening tee shot Thursday as the British Open returned to Irish soil for the first time in 68 years. And then it got even better for Clarke, the 50-year-old from Northern Ireland who now calls Portrush home.
He holed a 15-foot putt for birdie to start his round.
Clarke won the Open in 2011 at Royal St. George's and did not hesitate when the R&A asked if he would be willing to be the first to play. He hasn't received such a hearty reception on the opening tee since The K Club in Ireland in 2006 for the Ryder Cup.