The Open: Nervy McIlroy starts with quadruple-bogey eight

He was met with a raucous reception on the first tee, but Rory McIlroy endured an opening-hole meltdown at Royal Portrush.

Rory McIlroy   -  Getty Images

Rory McIlroy made an abysmal start to his Open Championship campaign with a quadruple-bogey eight at the first at Royal Portrush on Thursday.

The home hope was met with a deafening reception by an expectant crowd, with the 148th edition of the tournament set to be the second best attended in history.

McIlroy was out of bounds off the opening tee and struggled to regain his composure from there, despite conditions appearing set fair for low scoring.

The Northern Irishman, a four-time major winner, is seeking his second Claret Jug but already faces a huge task to climb the leaderboard.

READ | Local hero McIlroy does not feel like centre of attention at Portrush

Compatriot Darren Clarke had the honour of teeing off the action and he got to three under by the fifth but walked off the 15th at two under.

Shane Lowry topped the leaderboard after nine holes, making the turn in a three-under 33, with Charley Hoffman and Alex Noren for company, while reigning champion Francesco Molinari parred the first.

There was also a moment to remember for Argentina's Emiliano Grillo, who lit up the 13th with an ace.

World number one Brooks Koepka goes out at 13:04 local time (12:04 GMT), with Tiger Woods not teeing it up until 15:10 (14:10 GMT).

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