ST. ANDREWS, Scotland – Rory McIlroy has moved British oddsmakers to install the Northern Irish teen as a 3-1 favorite to win his first major championship.
McIlroy, 19, who won his first PGA Tour event earlier this year at Quail Hollow, opened with a 9-under 63 on Thursday at the Old Course in the 150th anniversary British Open. McIlroy has a two-shot lead over South Africa’s Louis Oosthuizen, a 25-1 pick.
Tiger Woods, who had opened as a 6-1 pick to win, shot 67 and improved to 4-1 with the bookmakers.
Lee Westwood, another favorite in the United Kingdom, shot 67 and enters Round 2 as an 8-1 choice.
Phil Mickelson, who has yet to win a British Open, slipped to a 60-1 pick after opening at 1-over 73.