Second open house: Rory McIlroy looking to build on promising start


World No. 2 Rory McIlroy admits he can’t afford to let a promising start to the 150th Open Championship go to waste.

The Northern Irishman, winner of the Claret Jug in 2014, is just two shots behind leader Cameron Young, who shot eight birdies in a clean 64 – a result beaten only by McIlroy himself in the first round of an Open at the Old Course.

McIlroy’s 63 came back in 2010, followed by an 80 in foul weather, while an ankle injury he sustained playing football prevented him from bidding to keep the 2015 Claret Jug at the same venue.

“It’s another good start at a Major, three in a row for me now, and I’m looking forward to the next few days,” said McIlroy, aware he hasn’t managed to match those good starts with overdue wins converting a third round 74 that does the damage in the US PGA and a 73 in the same stage of the US Open that proves equally costly.

“I need to go out and confirm what I just did. I think that’s important.

“I was playing well, I was swinging the club well, and I think it’s better if I don’t think about it that much and just go out and play golf and try to get some good scores on one of my favorite golf courses of the world.”

It’s just a joke, isn’t it? Like six hours, 10 (minutes). That just shouldn’t happen in golf

Matt Fitzpatrick

In stark contrast, 15-time Major winner Tiger Woods started poorly, hitting his approach from a fairway divot into the Swilcan Burn and then carding just three birdies in a six-over-par round of 78 – completed six hours and eight minutes after the tee.

The American’s playing partner, Matt Fitzpatrick, the new US Open champion, was unimpressed.

“It’s just a joke, isn’t it? Like six hours, 10 (minutes). That should never happen in golf,” said the Sheffield golfer.

“It’s just sadder than anything. It’s just ridiculous.”

shot of the day

St Andrews’ famous road hole has inflicted countless disasters on players over the years, but John Parry of Yorkshire made it look easy. After taking a tight line on the right near the Old Course Hotel, he had 195 yards to the flag. Rebounding his approach just short of the green, he rolled to within one foot of the pin for a tap-in birdie.

round of the day

Cameron Young-64

The Open debutant, whose only experience on the Old Course nearly a decade ago was the St Andrews Links Trophy, belied his inexperience to set an early marker. Five birdies in the front nine saw him go out in 31, and he won three more shots — though he also missed a couple of relatively short putts — that gave him a two-stroke lead at the front.

Tweet of the day

Statistics of the day

McIlroy is the first player to start two different Open Championships at St Andrews with rounds of 66 or less (2010, 2022).

Hardest hole

The 13th hole was the toughest hole, yielding only two birdies all day (Peter Morrison/AP)


The 465-yard, par-4 13th hole was the toughest hole, yielding just two birdies all day, with 58 bogeys and 12 double bogeys or worse, resulting in a 4.51 scoring average.

Easiest hole

The 356-yard par 4 18th was easy to hit off the tee. 82 players birdied, there were two eagles and just two bogeys for a 3.46 scoring average.

The most important start times on Friday

Leader Cameron Young will tee off at 1.26pm on day two (Jane Barlow/PA)

(PA wire)

8:25 a.m.: Scottie Scheffler, Tyrrell Hatton, Joaquin Niemann.

9:58 a.m.: Tiger Woods, Matt Fitzpatrick, Max Homa.

1:04 p.m.: Cameron Smith, Brooks Koepka, Seamus Power.

1:26 p.m.: Cameron Young, KH Lee, Robert MacIntyre

2:59 p.m.: Collin Morikawa, Rory McIlroy, Xander Schauffele.


Cloudy with showers, more likely in the early afternoon with chance of showers in the afternoon, but tending to stay dry. Winds will be between 5 and 10 mph, with gusts up to 15 mph. Second open house: Rory McIlroy looking to build on promising start

Fry Electronics Team

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