The 150th Open: Rory McIlroy happy with ‘fantastic’ start as Cameron Young leads at St Andrews | Golf News

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Rory McIlroy carded a six-under 66 to stay within two strokes of leader Cameron Young; Watch The 150th Open throughout the week live on Sky Sports’ dedicated Open channel – live coverage continues Friday from 6.30am

Last Updated: 14/07/22 5:30pm


Rory McIlroy was happy with his opening round six-under 66 as he bids to become Open champion for the second time

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Rory McIlroy was happy with his opening round six-under 66 as he bids to become Open champion for the second time

Rory McIlroy was happy with his opening round six-under 66 as he bids to become Open champion for the second time

Rory McIlroy continued to eradicate his first-round hoodoo in majors after making a strong start to his bid for a fifth major title at The 150th Open.

McIlroy had posted a combined 35 over par in the first round of majors between his 2014 PGA Championship victory and his opening-round 73 at The Masters in April, where he finished runner-up, before setting the pace at Southern Hills in May and starting strongly in last month’s US Open.

The former world No 1 maintained that streak of stronger starts with a six-under 66 on the opening day on the Old Course at St Andrews, holing a 55-footer on his opening hole and mixing seven birdies with a lone bogey to keep him within two strokes of early pacesetter Cameron Young.

Rory McIlroy got his Open Championship off to the perfect start by making four birdies on the front nine during the first round at St Andrews

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Rory McIlroy got his Open Championship off to the perfect start by making four birdies on the front nine during the first round at St Andrews

Rory McIlroy got his Open Championship off to the perfect start by making four birdies on the front nine during the first round at St Andrews

“Yeah, fantastic start,” McIlroy said in his post-round conference. “Just sort of what you hope will happen when you’re starting off your week.

“I mean I did everything that you’re supposed to do around St Andrews. I birdied the holes that are birdieable and I made pars at the holes where you’re sort of looking to make a par and move to the next tee. Didn’t really put myself out of position too much.

“I was maybe trying to be a little bit too cute with the second shot on 13, but apart from that, missed it in the right areas, areas where you can get it up-and-down from. Got off to a good start going out, which is sort of important here, make your score and sort of hang on a little bit coming in.

Rory McIlroy made a mistake with his chip shot as he went on to register his first bogey of the day on the 13th hole

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Rory McIlroy made a mistake with his chip shot as he went on to register his first bogey of the day on the 13th hole

Rory McIlroy made a mistake with his chip shot as he went on to register his first bogey of the day on the 13th hole

“It’s another good start at a major – three in a row for me now – and looking forward to the next few days.”

McIlroy is a two-time winner on the PGA Tour this season and has finished no worse than eighth in his major appearances in 2022, with the Northern Irishman now looking to build on his strong start and challenge for a second Open victory.

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“I need to go out tomorrow and back up what I just did today,” McIlroy added. “I think that’s important to do. But again, this golf course isn’t going to change that much, I don’t think, between today and tomorrow in terms of conditions.

“I’ve seen the golf course now in tournament play and tournament conditions and know what to expect. Tomorrow’s an important run, just to go out and back up what I’ve done today.”

Young comfortable after setting St Andrews pace

Rookie Cameron Young says he's full of belief after carding an eight-under 64 in his opening round at St Andrews

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Rookie Cameron Young says he’s full of belief after carding an eight-under 64 in his opening round at St Andrews

Rookie Cameron Young says he’s full of belief after carding an eight-under 64 in his opening round at St Andrews

Young enjoyed an Open debut to remember as he raced into the clubhouse lead with a brilliant eight-under 64, posting eight birdies during an impressive display.

The American, who was outside of the world’s top 500 just over a year ago but is now near the world’s top 30 after five top-three finishes on the PGA Tour this season, birdied seven of his opening 12 holes and followed missed chances at the 14th and 15th by taking advantage of the par-four last.

Rookie Cameron Young shot a flawless eight-under 64 during the first round of The Open Championship at St Andrews

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Rookie Cameron Young shot a flawless eight-under 64 during the first round of The Open Championship at St Andrews

Rookie Cameron Young shot a flawless eight-under 64 during the first round of The Open Championship at St Andrews

“I think we worked our way around the golf course really well,” Young said. “I don’t think that I played a perfect round of golf. I think I scored really well.

“I’m happy I shot 64. I’m happy that I’m still leading The Open Championship, but it’s not going to change how I feel an hour from now. It might change how I feel on the first tee a little bit tomorrow, but I’ll forget about it very quickly.

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“I think any time you’re around the lead in a major championship or any PGA Tour event, frankly, you get more and more comfortable every time. Whether I’m leading by three or one or four back, I’ll sleep just fine.

“Even though it’s only been most of the year, I’ve been around the lead a good bit, and I think we’ll just take tomorrow as it comes. That’s really all I can control.”

Watch The 150th Open throughout the week live on Sky Sports’ dedicated channel – Sky Sports The Open! Live coverage continues on Friday from 6.30am on Sky Sports The Open, with bonus feeds available via the red button and the Sky Sports app.



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