Thursday's weather has been kind to the field to this point, as precipitation has held off and winds were at a minimum. Of course, this led to some low numbers from many of the tournament's competitors.
Here's a look at the British Open's current leaderboard:
So, just in case you weren't up at—or before—the crack of dawn today to take in these early rounds, here's a look at some of the best highlights from Thursday's early action.
Rory McIlroy was the man to watch in the morning at Hoylake. He started very strong with a blemish-free round of six-under 66 to enter the clubhouse as the tournament leader.
McIlroy's game came together in all phases on Thursday, but his ball-striking was simply astounding. Here's a look at his approach to the par-four second hole, which nearly found the cup and got his day off to a roaring start:
The big question surrounding McIlroy after his blistering opening round involves his ability to keep it going. After all, he hasn't exactly been spectacular on Fridays this season. Golf Central summed it up with this graphic:
Another player everyone was watching on Thursday is Tiger Woods.
The 2014 Open Championship marks Woods' return to majors this season, and he's off to a very hot start with a three-under 69 on the day.
Although, the beginning of his round wasn't entirely promising.
Woods began with a pair of bogeys to begin the tournament, quickly finding himself at two-over par. However, he showed great resilience, finishing the front nine at one over and firing away on the back nine.
He began his second nine nicely with a birdie on the par-four 11th, after putting a great stroke on a 25-footer:
Woods' precise iron play was on display just two holes later, as he dropped his tee shot on the par-three 13th to roughly 10 feet:
Those birdies helped Woods to finish his round with a score of four-under 33 on the back nine to complete his round of three under, and it puts him in great position heading into Round 2.
Everyone had eyes on Woods on Thursday, but one tournament volunteer paid dearly for it, as one of the golfer's errant shots hit him squarely in the face. Here's a look, courtesy of ESPN Highlights:
We'll see if Woods' rehabbing back will allow him to keep up this pace into the weekend.
It wasn't a flawless day for all of the field's past major champions.
Angel Cabrera shot a disastrous four-over 76 on the day after beginning his round with two bogeys and a double in his first four holes. However, he did walk away with the shot of the day, as this brilliant 175-yard shot found the cup, helping him save par on the 12th hole:
The second wave of players have already taken the course at Hoylake. Be sure to stay tuned, as plenty more highlights are sure to be coming our way from this prestigious tournament.
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