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Rory fires bogey-free 66 to set Open pace

First Round Update — Royal & Ancient Golf — 143rd Open Championship — Royal Liverpool Golf Club — Hoylake, England —¬†

Rory McIlroy jumped out to a hot start at the 143rd Open Championship firing an opening round 6-under-66.

His bogey-free round continues to lead the tournament as the afternoon wave is now playing Royal Liverpool. Rory leads Italy’s Matteo Manassero, 21, by a shot.

McIlroy was in position to win last week after shooting 64 at the Scottish Open, but a second-round 78 derailed his efforts. His second-round scoring average has been a problem most of the 2014 campaign. The World No. 7 won the European Tour’s BMW PGA Championship in May. He entered the week as at 14-to-1 betting selection at Ladbrokes.com.

Justin Rose, defending champion Phil Mickelson and Masters champ Bubba Watson are all 1-under on playing the back-nine at the moment.

Tiger Woods, the 2006 Open champion here at Hoylake, opened bogey-bogey but rebounded to card a 3-under-69. He is T-8 at the moment alongside Rickie Fowler, Jimmy Walker and Hideki Matsuyama, who won the Memorial Tournament earlier this spring.

Jim Furyk, Sergio Garcia and Francesco Molinari are in the clubhouse after shooting 4-under-68s. World No. 1 Adam Scott is 4-under through nine holes at the moment.

Other Golf news:

  • The 25-year-old McIlroy¬†is gunning for the third-leg of the Grand Slam already having won a PGA Championship and U.S. Open title.
  • Walker, who shot 69 at Hoylake in round one, continues to lead the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup Standings. He was an 80-1 betting pick coming into the Open.
  • Laura Diaz leads the LPGA Marathon Classic during first-round action. She is 7-under through 12 holes and leads by four shots. Stacy Lewis, Rolex Ranking No. 1, is even par through 16 holes.
  • Several players including Rose and Watson have a chance to surpass Scott into the No. 1 spot in the Official World Golf Rankings with a victory this week and some help from Scott. Rose has the best shot needing to win and have Scott finish outside the Top 3.