The Open Championship is known for its high winds and brutal weather conditions. But the 2014 version has opened to neither of those things.
With ideal conditions in the early portion of the day at Hoylake in Liverpool, Rory McIlroy rolled to an early lead as he shot a bogey-free 66 and owns a one-stroke lead over Italy's Matteo Manassero.
Top-ranked Adam Scott, Jim Furyk and Sergio Garcia are in the group of seven golfers who are two strokes behind at four under par.
Those names on the leaderboard would be exciting enough, but the big news may have been the 69 fired by Tiger Woods. After starting with back-to-back bogeys, Woods played sensational golf to get himself within three strokes of the lead.
Defending champion Phil Mickelson could not join the leaders, but he said his opening round of two over par 74 was not indicative of how well he hit the ball. If he can putt a bit better, he could make a run at his second straight Open Championship.
But for now, golf fans are happy with an opening round leaderboard that includes McIlroy, Scott, Furyk and a fellow by the name of Tiger.
(Introduction by Steve Silverman)
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