Johnson sets early pace at British Open golf

Gullane (UK), July 18: Rory McIlroy and Justin Rose both made nightmare starts to the British Open at red-hot Muirfield on Thursday as US wedgeking Zach Johnson set the early pace with a 66. World number two McIlroy, desperately seeking the form that has eluded him since he changed clubs at the start of the year, had two double bogeys down the back nine en route to a morale-sap ping eight over 79. The lowest point of his round came at the 15th where he shook his head in disbelief after watching his long putt speed over the rockhard green and bury itself in a deep pot bunker. A second double-bogey was the end result of that and he looked a disconsolate figure trudging off the 18th green with the question mark over his current form beginning to take on giant proportions. “I sort of hung in there. I made sloppy bogeys on four and five, then a good birdie on seven.“I let shots get away from me — too many loose shots,” the 24-year-old McIlroy said.

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