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Rory McIlroy grabs first-round lead at sunny British Open

GolfRory McIlroyAdam ScottMatteo ManasseroTiger WoodsBritish OpenJim Furyk
Rory McIlroy's 6-under 66 puts him one stroke ahead of Matteo Manassero at the British Open

With morning skies pleasantly sunny and calm for the first round of the British Open, Rory McIlroy played bogey-free golf to grab an early lead at Royal Liverpool.

McIlroy's six-under-par 66 put him one stroke ahead of Matteo Manassero of Italy. Sergio Garcia, Adam Scott and Jim Furyk headlined a group of players at four-under.

For McIlroy, Thursday's impressive start reinforced a recent pattern. The golfer from Northern Ireland has been getting out fast -- but he hasn't always been able to hang on for the win.

"Maybe it's having higher expectations going out on a Friday because you shot a low round," he told reporters, adding that he hoped to "put those expectations aside."

Tiger Woods overcame a shaky start to record six birdies and finish the day tied for 10th at three-under.

Late starters had a tougher time as winds steadily picked up.

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