McIlroy, Woods endure nightmare starts as Holmes takes British Open lead

Rory McIlroy

Tiger Woods grimaced after his first shot in Thursday's first round of the Open Championship at Royal Portrush and then struggled to a 7-over, 78. Odds-on favorite Rory McIlroy opened with a quadruple bogey and never recovered, carding an 8-over 79. You take that away, it's probably actually been one of my worst years I've played.

"I've got to not let this spoil my week, because it could easily spoil my week". But I feel I'm doing a good job of learning'. He stuck it close at the par-3 third hole but missed the birdie putt, one of few makeable looks on the day.

Getty David Duval of the United States plays his shot from the third tee during the first round of the 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie Golf Club on July 19, 2018 in Carnoustie, Scotland. His ball ended up hitting a woman and cracking the screen of a cellphone in her pocket. Duval, who was assessed a two-shot penalty for playing with the wrong ball, then had to go back to the tee to start the hole over again. "Everything was left-to-right. And wasn't hitting very solidly".

McIlroy's opening tee shot went out of bounds, breaking a spectator's phone in the process.

The 26-year-old Argentine put his shot on the green and it pitched left, rolled down the bank and dropped in the hole on No. 13.

Lowry, who won the Irish Open as an amateur 10 years ago, had a one-shot lead over a group that ranged from major champions Sergio Garcia and Webb Simpson to Bob MacIntyre, the 22-year-old Scot making his major championship debut.

In fact, McIlroy's treacherous start may have been a shock to the system of all three golfers in the group, as the four-time major victor recorded a quadruple bogey 8 on the very first hole of their round.

Before the tournament started, Woods announced he wasn't feeling confident heading into the year's final major. "These guys are too good, there are too many guys that are playing well and I'm just not one of them", he said. "I came in here with fairly high hopes".

It was tough viewing as McIlroy scratched his way through the early holes.

The Open has not been held at Portrush for 68 years and as a previous victor of the tournament who lives in the town, the 50-year-old Clarke was given the honor of getting things under way.

It was the fourth time since 2016 that he shot 77 or worse in a major, which is tied with Jhonattan Vegas and Mark O'Meara for the most by any PGA Tour player during that span. "It is one of those God-awful nightmare scenarios which happened today and I happened to be on the end of it".

"I'm just not moving as well as I'd like and, unfortunately, you've got to be able to move, and especially under these conditions, shape the golf ball".

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