Rory impresses with flawless 66 at The Open
By Bernie D'Amato under The Open Championship


Rory McIlroy tops the leader board  after the morning wave of the 143rd Open Championship. Rory fired a flawless six-under 66, and said, “Anytime you shoot 66 at the Open Championship, you’re going to be pleased. We had perfect scoring conditions out there this morning. There wasn’t much wind early on. The wind started to pick up a little bit on the back nine. But, yeah, there were plenty of opportunities to make birdies. I was able to take a few of them. Another great start and, yeah, looking forward to getting back out there tomorrow.”

Second rounds have not been Rory’s specialty of late. At the Scottish Open last week, Rory went 64-78, which isn’t his biggest differential this season. At Jack’s tournament, he went 63-78, and at the Wells Fargo he opened with 69-76.

McIlroy said, “When you go back out on Friday after a good score, you know what you can do on the golf course. So you’re going out with some expectations compared to when on Thursday you’re going out with not many. I think I’ve just got to approach it like that, and start off trying to hit solid shots the first few holes and play my way into the round, just like I did today. I hit some really good shots on the first holes and that gave me confidence, and then I could go from there.”

He also spoke about a different rough patch in his career. “Back in like ’09 and ’10 I felt like I was getting myself in contention quite a lot and not being able to finish tournaments off. Not that it’s the same thing because there’s a bit more pressure attached to a Sunday whenever you’re trying to win a golf tournament than when you’re going out on a Friday afternoon. Hopefully, it’s just one of those things, and I’m able to turn it around tomorrow.”

Of course, Rory broke that habit with a Sunday 62 to win the 2010 Wells Fargo. It would make sense that Rory would do something like that at a major since his two major wins were by eight shots.

I’m not a football fan, but Rory is in enemy territory this week. “I did get terrific support, even though I support Man United. No, I took my hat off on 16 or 17, walking up the fairway, I heard someone say, “Get a hair cut.” Apart from that, no. The support out there was really great, and hopefully, I can give them a lot more to cheer about over the next few days.”

Open Championship leader board.

–Bernie D’Amato