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Rory McIlroy grabs first-round lead at sunny British Open

Rory McIlroy grabs first-round lead at sunny British Open
Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy walks across the 17th green during the first round of the British Open on Thursday. (Peter Muhly / AFP/Getty Images)

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."

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

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

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