The Open day one: Woods and McIlroy suffer horror Open starts as McDowell falters but Lowry challenges for lead at Portrush
The 148th Open Championship is officially under way at Royal Portrush and Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods and Graeme McDowell all face fights to make the cut.
Hometown boy McDowell played so well for so long, hitting 14 of his opening 16 greens only to shoot two over par after a triple bogey on the last when he lost his tee shot.
If it was a sting in the Portrush tail that got McDowell, it snagged McIlroy in similar fashion as the world number three added a triple bogey seven on 18 to his quadruple bogey eight on the first. That meant a round of 79, eight over par and requiring a massive performance on Saturday to make the cut, just like the biggest name in the field.
That's because in the afternoon, Tiger Woods fared little better, his round a steady decline from start to finish to get in at seven over par.
- 'The ship feels like it's sinking:' Graeme McDowell reacts after ball lost by 12 seconds in heart-breaking end to the first round at The Open
- Watch: Rory McIlroy smacks spectator's phone with wayward drive on route to 'unbelievable' eight at The Open
- I'm not moving as well as I'd like: Tiger Woods admits pain in first round of The Open but hopes he can 'peak' again this year
- More emotional than I thought: Darren Clarke reflects on stunning opening round at The Open at Royal Portrush
Darren Clarke, however, got in at level par after a bright start with three birdies in his first five holes.
He's four shots behind leading Irishman Shane Lowry, who carded an impressive 67. That was enough to hold the clubhouse lead for seven hours but he was finally beaten when American JB Holmes birdied the last to reach five under par, one clear of Lowry and two ahead of a plethora of players in a tie for third.
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