The Open day one: Rory McIlroy makes fantastic start on return to St Andrews
Rory McIlroy celebrated making a fantastic start to the “fiddliest” Open of his career as his delayed return to St Andrews proved well worth the wait.
McIlroy’s 63 came back in 2010 and was followed by an 80 in terrible weather, while an ankle injury suffered playing football prevented him from bidding to retain the Claret Jug at the same venue in 2015.
The four-time major winner admitted this week therefore felt like the title defence he never had and he enjoyed an ideal start, holing from 55 feet for birdie on the first and making seven in total in his 66, the same score he shot to begin his wire-to-wire victory at Hoylake.
In stark contrast, 15-time major winner Tiger Woods started badly, hitting his approach from a fairway divot into the Swilcan Burn at the first, and went on to card just three birdies in a six-over-par round of 78 – completed six hours and eight minutes after teeing off.
Shot of the day
St Andrews’ famous Road Hole has caused countless calamities for players over the years but Yorkshireman John Parry made it look simple. Having taken a tight line down the right-hand side, close to the Old Course Hotel, he had 195 yards to the flag. Bouncing his approach in short of the green it rolled up to within a foot of the pin for a tap-in birdie.
Round of the day
Cameron Young – 64
The Open debutant, whose only experience of the Old Course was in the St Andrews Links Trophy almost a decade ago, belied his inexperience to lay down an early marker. Five birdies on the front nine saw him go out in 31 and he gained three further shots – although he also missed a couple of relatively short putts – that saw him establish a two-stroke lead at the top.
Tweet of the day
Statistic of the day
McIlroy is the first player to begin two different Open Championships at St Andrews with rounds of 66 or lower (2010, 2022).
The 465-yard par-four 13th played as the toughest hole, yielding just two birdies all day, with 58 bogeys and 12 double-bogeys or worse resulting in a scoring average of 4.51.
The 356-yard par-four was easily reachable off the tee. Sixty-nine players made birdie, there were two eagles and just two bogeys for a scoring average of 3.47. (* Seven groups still to complete their rounds)
Friday’s key tee times
8.25am: Scottie Scheffler, Tyrrell Hatton, Joaquin Niemann.
9.58am: Tiger Woods, Matt Fitzpatrick, Max Homa.
1.04pm: Cameron Smith, Brooks Koepka, Seamus Power.
1.26pm: Cameron Young, KH Lee, Robert MacIntyre
2.59pm: Collin Morikawa, Rory McIlroy, Xander Schauffele.
Cloudy with outbreaks of rain, more likely early on with a chance of a shower in the afternoon but tending to stay dry. Winds will be between 5mph to 10mph, with gusts up to 15mph.
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The Norwegian held off Scottie Scheffler to win by two shots.
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The South African beat Clement Sordet by one stroke.
Adrian Meronk wins Australian Open as playing partner Adam Scott misses out
Home favourite Scott held a one-shot lead going into the final round at Victoria GC but Meronk shot 66 to win by five strokes.
Poland’s Adrian Meronk eclipses Adam Scott to win Australian Open
Despite taking the lead into Sunday, Scott was ultimately unable to repel Meronk’s challenge.
Thriston Lawrence and Clement Sordet set for final-day battle at South African Open
Thriston Lawrence leads his playing partner by two shots.
Adam Scott leads Australian Open ahead of Adrian Meronk
Scott moved to 11 under on Saturday, one stroke better than Meronk at the summit.
Adam Scott equals course record to share halfway lead at Australian Open
Scott carded five birdies and an eagle on the 18th at Victoria Golf Club.
Hole-in-one helps Tom McKibbin make strong start in South Africa
The 19-year-old holed out with a five iron from 232 yards on the 11th hole.
A nice birdie-fest – Tiger Woods expecting low scoring Hero World Challenge
Woods withdrew on Monday due to plantar fasciitis in his right foot.
Adam Scott relishing chance to experience a career first at the Australian Open
The tournament sees men, women and golfers with disabilities competing on the same course at the same time.