British Open: McIlroy and Smith very early in the hunt

British Open: McIlroy and Smith very early on the hunt


ST ANDREWS, Scotland | Rory McIlroy was hoping for a strong start to this 150e historic edition of the British Open played at the Old Course in St Andrews. He did it. But Cameron Young did better today. 

The 25-year-old American delivered a great performance in the birthplace of golf as he posted a 64 (-8) card. He is thus two strokes ahead of the Northern Irishman and 2014 Claret Jug champion at Royal Liverpool. Australian Cameron Smith, winner of the PGA Tour Players Championship in March, remains on the lookout at -5 with Englishman Robert Dinwiddie. 

And according to his words, even if he took advantage of a milder weather in the morning, the point guard did not deliver a perfect performance since he was torn with his driver. 

“We nevertheless managed to get away with it,” said the man who has been supported by a new cadet since he set sail for Scotland. 

“From the mounds, it was not perfect, added the powerful hitter. The ball was not going where I was looking. But I'm happy to get away with a 64.”

But sitting atop the huge yellow board just outside the Royal and Ancient castle, he couldn't ask for better. outcome of the first round of the Open.

The 25-year-old rookie is having a great season among the world's elite. Just two months ago, he battled for the Wanamaker Trophy at the PGA Championship of America. Now sitting at No. 32 in the world, he's a strong contender for Rookie of the Year thanks to his five top 5 finishes so far. 

Young, however, is looking for his first victoire. This is also why he decided to change cadets two weeks ago. He thanked his good friend Scott McKean and hired Chad Reynolds, the former ally of Vijay Singh, among others, to benefit from his experience. 

This new relationship is paying off…for now. 

Calm and confident

In great shape this week, McIlroy kicked off with a solid round of 66 (-6). A birdie at the first flag thanks to a perfect 55-foot roll for the birdie got the ball rolling. He added six more, committing a bogey in the process in 13th.

“This is exactly the desired start for an Open. On this course, I followed the game plan. I attacked on the holes with the best birdie possibilities and I remained patient where it was necessary”, related the one who eyed the trophy in such a special place. 

The few showers of rain last night will not be enough to soften a very dry, hard and fast course. This will further complicate the task of golfers. The sun is also expected this afternoon.

“The course is played so short. You have to be very delicate to judge the distances. The surfaces of the greens have started to dry out,” said the man, who is in his 13th appearance at the Open. participated, because you have to be extremely careful about every detail. You really have to be very delicate.

Behind McIlroy, Smith and Dinwiddie, eight golfers tied for fifth at -4, including Dustin Johnson, Scottie Scheffler and 21-year-old amateur Barclay Brown.

♦ Injured, Justin Rose (back) and Erik Van Rooyen (neck) withdrew.