British Open: What you missed overnight in Round 1 at Portrush

AP Photo/Peter Morrison

British Open: What you missed overnight in Round 1 at Portrush

2019 British Open

British Open: What you missed overnight in Round 1 at Portrush

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PORTRUSH, Nothern Ireland – Darren Clarke could not have had a more perfect start to the 148th Open Championship, hitting his opening tee shot to great applause and making birdie to open his round. And Rory McIlroy could have not had a more disastrous start.

Clarke got to 3 under through 5 holes as rain made just a brief appearance in the early morning at Royal Portrush. Clarke was off with amateur James Sugrue and Charley Hoffman at 6:35 a.m. local time and made the turn at 2 under. The Northern Irishman finished with an even-par 71.

Teeing off at 10:09 a.m. local time (5:09 ET), McIlroy pulled his opening tee shot left toward the internal out-of-bounds markers. His provisional tee shot wasn’t much better and things went south from there as the betting favorite made a shocking quadruple-bogey 8 to start off his day.

Two early eagles

Beeeef … Fan favorite Andrew Johnston shot a 62 in Scotland to get into the  field at Royal Portrush. In Round 1, Beef made eagle on the par-5, 576-yard 2nd.

European Tour rookie Robert MacIntyre, who’s just 22, got his eagle 2 on the 5th. The Scottish golfer, who played at McNeese State, got into the field by virtue of his Race to Dubai rankings.

Grillo’s hole in one

Emiliano Grillo was the first to make a hole in one Thursday, from 200 yards on the par-3 13th. It’s the first ace at the Open Championship since 2016. Playing in his fourth British Open, Grillo celebrated with a toss of the ball into the crowd.

BRITISH OPEN: Scores | Live Blog/TV Info | Tiger Tracker

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Mickelson’s struggles

The new lighter Phil Mickelson looked listless as he made five bogeys in his first 12 holes. Coming into the week, Mickelson said he’d lost 15 to 18 pounds by fasting and changing his diet. It was a “hard reset” but it didn’t seem to be paying off.

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