The Old Course at St. Andrews didn’t stand a chance against the greatest golfers in the world.

Especially Rory McIlroy. The 21-year-old from Northern Ireland scorched the British Open field Thursday and tied the major championship record by shooting a 9-under 63 in the opening round.

McIlroy scored an eagle on the 352-yard ninth hole before notching six birdies on the back nine. He is the youngest player to shoot 63 in a major and became just the eighth to do it at the British Open.


“It sort of went through my mind on 17 that 62 would have been the lowest round in a major,” McElroy said.

“That’s probably why I missed, but it was a fantastic score.”

Woods lurking ...

Meanwhile, Tiger Woods teed off to cheers of “Woods time” and then birdied the second hole.

He slammed his club in frustration despite finding the green at the sixth hole, but his act seemed to spark him into life.

Woods birdied the seventh before flashing a grin and tapping fists with playing partner Justin Rose after a 15-foot birdie putt at the ninth. He finished with a 5-under 67 — the same score he shot when he won it in 2005.

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