Published: Fri, July 19, 2019
Sports | By Phillip Butler

Fox makes history at the Open Championship

Fox makes history at the Open Championship

PORTRUSH, Northern Ireland - Rory McIlroy started his opening round of the 148th Open Championship with a quadruple-bogey on the first hole and finished with a triple-bogey on the 18th at Royal Portrush Golf Club.

An hour into his round the first of the rain arrived to increase the difficulty level at Royal Portrush, hosting its first Open since 1951.

But instead the 2014 Open champion and victor of three more majors, inarguably Northern Ireland's most successful sporting son, doesn't feel anything but goodwill. "They were all left", said Woods, wearing black rain trousers and a gray sweater on a day of wet and windy weather. "It is one of those God-awful nightmare scenarios which happened today and I happened to be on the end of it".

His score was later overtaken by Holmes, who handled the course with confidence despite a bogey on the first.

"I think (this tournament) speaks volumes of where the country and where the people that live her are now". When I did I missed them in the right spot.

Tiger Woods, Brooks Koepka and Dustin Johnson were among the late starters.

"The game plan's pretty concrete. It's just the way it's going to be". Eastern. He explains his success at majors this year.

Scott's group, also featuring defending champion Francesco Molinari, temporarily played through as Duval chalked up his insane number.

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.

There were huge roars for the home favourite as he stepped up to the first.

His subsequent shot also landed in deep rough and he was forced to take an unplayable and a drop before chipping onto the green with his sixth shot.

The Northern Irishman said that the most disappointing mistake of the day was the way he missed a tap-in on the 16th, taking the shot casually, after he had missed a six foot putt.

By the time he trudged off the opening green, having made an ugly quadruple eight, the smattering of nearly apologetic applause told its own story. I made a couple of stupid mistakes.

His opening tee shot went out of bounds, breaking a spectator's phone in the process. It's like, 'Well, I can't really start much worse than this, may as well just keep the head down and keep going.' I thought I showed some resilience around the middle of the round. More birdies came at the par-3 third and the tough fifth that runs out toward the North Atlantic. You've got the ownership issue of the course and the staging there. "I had a hard time moving".

You'd never have recognised such a nervous creature here, on a memorable first appearance in the Open.

The former US Open champion's ball was found just seconds after his allotted search time had expired, that time having been reduced from five minutes to three minutes in January this year.

Local hero Clarke was given the honour of starting Thursday's play and made a flying start by going three under par through his first five holes on the Dunluce links.

Despite damp weather for a second successive day, fans arrived early and in number for the sold-out tournament, with the expected total attendance of 237,750 making it the best attended British Open outside of St Andrews in Scotland.

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