Rory McIlroy Leads British Open; Tiger Woods 3 Strokes Back
For the second time in a week, Rory McIlroy has gotten off to a hot start across the pond. He’s hoping his second round as the leader of the Open Championship is a little better than last Friday’s ugliness at the Scottish Open.
McIlroy has six birdies and no bogeys to finish with a 6-under 66, giving him a one-stroke lead over Italy’s Matteo Massero.
It was about a good a day for Italy as there has been in the golf world – the Italians have three of the top four spots occupied. Massero is all alone in second at 5-under, while brothers Edoardo Molinari and Francesco Molinari are tied for third at 4-under with five other players including Jim Furyk, Sergio Garcia and Adam Scott.
Furyk and Brooks Koepka are the top-rated Americans after the first day. The 44-year-old Furyk is after his first Major title since 2003; the 24-year-old Koepka tied for fourth at the US Open and is angling to make the cut at the Open Championship after missing it a year ago.
Tiger Woods, who has won the Open Championship thrice, is one of nine players tied for 10th at 3-under, along with current FedEx Cup leader Jimmy Walker and Japanese 22-year-old Hideki Matsuyama.
Woods had an auspicious start, with back-to-back bogeys to open his round, but turned things around with five birdies in a six-hole stretch on the back nine to reach 69.
Fourteen players are tied for 19th at 2-under, including 2013 PGA Championship winner Jason Dufner and current Race to Dubai leader Thomas Bjorn.
PGA Rookie of the Year for 2013 Jordan Spieth is tied for 33rd at 1-under along with Lee Westwood, Hutner Mahan, Zach Johnson and more.
Forty-eight players in all are under par. Defending FedEx Cup and Race to Dubai champion Henrik Stenson isn’t one of them after shooting an even-par 72. After recording a double-bogey 6 on No. 12, Stenson snapped his club in half before handing it calmly to his caddie.
US Open champion Martin Kaymer is one of a host of big names at 1-over,a long with Matt Kuchar, Tom Watson, Luke Donald, Ian Poulter and Jason Day.
Defending Open champion Phil Mickelson struggled to a 2-over 74, tying him for 84th. Mickelson hit the turn at 1-under, but had three bogeys on the back nine to fade late, an all to common trend for him this season.
Things were even more disastrous for 2014 Masters winner Bubba Watson, tied for 124th at 4-over. Also 1-under at the turn, Watson had a miserable series of double bogey, bogey, bogey on 11-13 to drop like a stone on the leader board.