Rory McIlroy's worst performances in a major

Rory McIlroy

"You just push on and see where I'm at and throw the rain gear on and hide under the umbrella a little bit, and when it's my turn, I'll just go out and hit one". It's actually quite easy.

McIlroy was nine when the Good Friday Agreement came into affect and says that growing up just outside the capital Belfast he was largely "oblivious" to the violence and strife that had long dogged the country.

Graeme McDowell, born and raised in Portrush, was one shot out of the lead until he took a three-putt bogey and lost his tee shot on the 18th for a triple bogey, sending him to a 73.

Other leading names did not enjoy their opening rounds at the last major of the year. Defending champion Francesco Molinari is paired up Bryson DeChambeau and Adam Scott.

O'Driscoll, who captained Ireland from 2003 until 2012, said it is too early to call who might win the Claret Jug come Sunday afternoon, but was happy that Offaly man Shane Lowry has "given himself a fighting chance". His follow-up found heavy rough and from there he struck his next shot into an unplayable lie in a bramble bush.

The biggest of those saw two new holes - the seventh and eighth - created on the Dunluce Links from land on the adjacent Valley Links, with the existing 17th and 18th holes used for the vast spectator village and media centre.

But he hooked his opening iron shot out of bounds by just a few feet, hitting a watching fan in the process, before pulling his second shot from the tee into the rough. He picked his ball out of the hole, to sympathetic applause, with an ugly eight on his card. Away from the course, Woods said he feels sore - really, really sore - after picking up his kids from school or after taking them to and from soccer practice.

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Emiliano Grillo's day brightened considerably when he claimed a hole in one on the par-three 13th. I made a couple of stupid mistakes. And I fought through it.

It is on days like this that you get a better appreciation of how remarkable it is that he is able to play at this level again - and what it means to him to keep playing.

"I didn't do much out there", he said.

Argentina's Emiliano Grillo got the crowds excited with the first hole-in-one at the championship since 2016 on the par-three 13th. Clarke will hit the first ball at the start of the Open Thursday.

Grillo, playing in his fourth Open, moved to even-par through 13 holes with his eagle.

Bob MacIntyre of Scotland made it into his first Open with a pair of runner-up finishes on the European Tour this year to get into the top 20 in the points list.

The first round of the British Open kicked off today, and the weather has not been friendly to players, with rain and wind making the conditions hard.

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