Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland and Italy’s Matteo Manassero moved into the lead in the first round of golf’s British Open, with Tiger Woods three shots back after recovering from starting with two bogeys.
Manassero finished his round on 67 at Royal Liverpool in Hoylake, England. McIlroy had five birdies to share the lead.
Five players are one shot back: Americans Brooks Koepka and Jim Furyk; Italian brothers Edoardo and Francesco Molinari and Spain’s Sergio Garcia.
Swede Robert Karlsson, Japan’s Koumei Oda and Marc Leishman of Australia are finished for the day, among five players two shot back. Karlsson had four birdies on the back nine after a bogey on the sixth hole. Oda started with two bogeys and then got four birdies on the back nine.
Woods, who is playing his first major of the season, had birdies on the fifth, 11th, 12th, 13th and 15th after bogeys on the first and second holes. U.S. Open champion Martin Kaymer of Germany tees off later in the day.
Kaymer last month won the U.S. Open by eight shots with the second-lowest total score in the event’s 119-year history. Woods sat the event out to complete his recovery from back surgery.
Although Woods hasn’t won one of golf’s four major titles in more than six years and missed the two already played this season, his return makes the 14-time major tournament winner the center of attention. Woods, 38, has only played four PGA Tour events this year, slipped to No. 7 in the Official World Golf Ranking, and is the fifth favorite among oddsmakers.
Australian Adam Scott and England’s Justin Rose are the 12-1 favorites at U.K. bookmaker William Hill Plc, meaning a successful bet would return $12 plus the original $1 stake. They start play this afternoon.
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