My finish hurt but I have to take the positives - McDowell

Rory McIlroy

"It's going to be a lot more hard", said Tiger.

"That was inexcusable", he said, describing the error as a lapse in concentration.

"It's just the way it is", said Tiger Woods softly.

David Duval's day at Royal Portrush started solidly.

Koepka won the CJ Cup and The PGA Championship, but has been in the top two at all three Majors this year.

It wasn't the only ghastly moment of the first round, as tournament favourite Rory McIlroy also required eight shots on his opening hole.

All he had was the lead Thursday at the British Open.

McIlroy certainly wasn't alone in his frustration.

There's a four way tie at the top, with Irishman Shane Lowry holding the clubhouse lead alongside four-time major victor Brooks Koepka [kep-kuh], Englishman Tyrell Hatton and Spaniard Jon Rahm.

And he survived his first real test at the fourth where he had to hole a six-footer for par to avoid dropping his first shot, retaining his lead and ensuring his fairy tale continued.

Hole No. 7 ended up being the worst one in tournament history, or at least since officials started recording scorecards hole-by-hole in 1983.

That gave way to frustration at the end of his round. "It's straightforward. It is tricky a little bit here and there, but overall it's just a wonderful links golf course".

On the leaderboard for so much of his round, he signed for a 73.

Other leading names did not enjoy their opening rounds at the last major of the year. He was joined by Sergio Garcia, Webb Simpson and Alex Noren, along with another player who might need some introduction.

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That has helped prevent a more rapid and potentially disruptive slowdown, but at the price of creating additional financial risks. It has also moved to provide a liquidity boost by reducing the amount of cash banks must hold in reserve .

The 83-year-old South African posed for pictures with Irish Junior Open Series competitors Harry O'Hara (Clandeboye), Parker Bonnes (Galgorm Castle) and Tiernan Bradley (Buncrana) in the spectator village. He has one career victory since turning pro. But then the wheels came completely off with five bogeys in six holes. Still, it was an impressive debut.

From the house ran a young woman wearing a uniform and an apron, excitedly jumping up and down with her phone at the ready to snap some shots.

The weather is changing at the British Open, and so is Rory McIlroy's score.

Here's a look at all the tee times heading into Round 1 of the 148th Open at Royal Portrush. But he pulled one back on the seventh and another on the ninth to go out in 3-over 39.

"I'm just not moving as well as I'd like, " said Woods, who had spinal fusion surgery in April 2017. 2001 Open victor David Duval carded an astounding 14 on the par-5 seventh en route to an opening round 91. He recorded a quadruple bogey, followed up by a single one on the next hole.

"It was nice to turn in a score like that, it's been a long time coming at the moment".

Fourteen years ago, at age 16, McIlroy shot a course-record 61 at Portrush in the second qualifying round of the North of Ireland Championship. Now, McIlroy, 30, returns to the course where so many memories were made.

After taking a penalty drop, McIlroy chipped on to the green and two-putted. Duval managed to shoot a 13 on the par-5 hole.

Grillo then threw his ball into the crowd at Royal Portrush.

The course measures 7,344 yards and is par 71.

Here are some angles to consider before the first round tees off at 1:35 am ET Thursday. Phil Mickelson was struggling.

Darren Clarke may have local knowledge of Portrush but he is not expected to fare well this week.

His only birdie came on No. 15.

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