McIlroy Shoots Opening 63 With Ease

By Jay CoffinJuly 15, 2010, 6:31 pm

ST. ANDREWS, Scotland – Rory McIlroy thought for about 2 seconds, then rattled off the answer to a question with the greatest of ease.

“69, 69, 67, 68, 67, 68, 65, 69, 63,” the 21-year-old said.

He was asked if he could remember all of the scores he’s shot at the Old Course in competition.

Not that the first eight numbers aren’t impressive, it’s just that the ninth is the one he shot here to tie a major championship record and lead the first round of his beloved Open Championship on his beloved Old Course, a place he first saw in 2007 at the St. Andrews Links Trophy.

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Rory McIlroy looked calm and comfortable shooting a bogey-free 63 Thursday at the Open Championship. (Getty Images)
The 9-under 63 tied the lowest round in a major championship that has been recorded by 21 other men. Tiger Woods was the last to shoot the score at the 2007 PGA Championship.

Speaking of Tiger, it was McIlroy who played the part of a young Tiger Thursday around the home of golf by willing the ball into the hole. He was only 1 under after eight holes, but hit driver to 15 feet on the 352-yard par-4 ninth hole and slammed in the eagle putt to get things heading in proper motion.

“It just kicked on from there,” McIlroy said. “I think it does take something in your round, a little spark, a little something to get you going, and I think that was the point today where my round really got going.”

Did it ever.

McIlroy, ranked No. 9 in the Official World Ranking, then made six birdies on the homeward nine, posted a 30 and tied another Open record. He hit 13 of 16 fairways, 17 of 18 greens and needed only 28 putts.

It should’ve been 27 putts, but McIlroy admitted that he got a bit ahead of himself, thinking that he could finish with consecutive birdies to shoot a record 62. He hit a 6-iron to 3 feet on the 17th hole and jabbed the putt and ended with par, then made an easy birdie from 3 feet on the home hole for 63.

“I just said I’m going to hit it firm and I’m going to hit it straight,” McIlroy said of the hiccup putt on 17. “I hit it and I pushed it a little bit.”

Not to put an asterisk by McIlroy’s 63, but it was shot on one of the most benign days you’ll ever see here at St. Andrews. Forecasts called for wind and rain and, although it was a gray and cloudy, it was a perfect morning for scoring conditions.

McIlroy is two clear of Louis Oosthuizen and three clear of a host of others that include John Daly and Andrew Coltart. Woods and Lee Westwood are in a group at 67 and are four shots back. Those in the afternoon, including Westwood and Phil Mickelson, got the bad end of the draw as the weather was considerably worse.

Now McIlroy will be put to the ultimate test to see how he plays as a frontrunner. He has only played in two previous Open Championships and neither were a rousing success – a T-42 in 2007 at Carnoustie and a T-47 last year at Turnberry.

There is a long way to go in this championship but to date his biggest victory came this year on the PGA Tour at the Quail Hollow Championship in May when he made the cut on the number then shot 66-62 on the weekend to walk away with his maiden Tour victory. That scenario was different than this as he was five shots off the pace heading into the final round. There was no pressure on that warm North Carolina afternoon.

“He’s been on the big stage before,” Graeme McDowell said. “I don’t think there’s any risk he’ll get overexcited. He loves this golf course, he’s got a pretty mature head on young shoulders and he’s got the game to do it.”

Said McIlroy’s playing partner Lucas Glover: “Sixty-three at St. Andrews He’s capable of just about anything.”

His nine scores around the Old Course prove it.
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Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.

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Rose leads halted Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters when bad weather stopped play Friday during the second round.

The Englishman, who shot a 10-under 62 on Thursday, had completed 13 holes and was 5 under on the day at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat (64) was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew wit on the 11th hole at 2 under for the day after shooting an opening 72.

There was no reason given for his withdrawal, but the American has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.

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Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.

An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

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