ST ANDREWS, SCOTLAND (REUTERS) – American Cameron Young made his first round at the British Open a memorable one, carding an eight-under 64 on Thursday (July 14) to hold the clubhouse lead two clear of Claret Jug favourite Rory McIlroy as the “Home of Golf” rolled out the welcome mat.

There had been worries in the run up to the season’s final major that calm winds and firm, fast conditions would leave the venerable Old Course vulnerable to low scoring and that’s exactly what happened as the world’s best golfers attacked the defenceless layout.

But as the last groupings were finishing their rounds on a grinding first day on the Scottish links, it was clear not everyone was feeling at home.

Tiger Woods, twice a winner at St. Andrews, laboured to six-over with five to play. The 15-time major winner, who was made an honorary member of the Royal and Ancient on Wednesday, sat near the bottom of the leaderboard on the course he calls his all-time favourite.

Still chasing a maiden PGA Tour title, Young showed the”Grand Old Lady” no respect as he challenged the major championship record score of 62 set by Branden Grace at Royal Birkdale in 2017, returning a clean card sprinkled with eight birdies.

With two titles this season and top 10 finishes in all three majors including a runner-up result at the Masters, McIlroy arrived in St Andrews as the man to beat and a six-under 66 will have done nothing to convince anyone to switch their bets.

The Northern Irishman got his day off to a flying start, rolling in a 55-footer for birdie at the first.

He continued to build momentum by stringing together three straight birdies from the fifth before heading into turn, where he picked up three more and his only bogey of the day.

“Fantastic start,” gushed the four-time major winner.

“Just sort of what you hope will happen when you’re starting off your week.

“I did everything that you’re supposed to do around St Andrews.

“I birdied the holes that are birdieable. I made pars at the holes where you’re sort of looking to make a par and didn’t really put myself out of position too much.”

Last modified: July 15, 2022