HOYLAKE, England (SportingAlert) — Despite enjoying the opening day’s first round, leader Rory McIlroy remains cautious heading to Friday’s second round at the 143rd British Open Golf Championship.
Watch live ESPN3.com and WatchESPN stream of the 143rd British Open Championship on Friday..
McIlroy finished Thursday’s play a top of leaderboard at the Royal Liverpool GC in Hoylake, England, after he shot an impressive six-under 66, to take a one stroke lead over Italy’s Matteo Manassero.
However, the 25-year-old from Northern Ireland is staying grounded, given his misfortunes last year where he missed the cut at Muirfield and his struggles in other tournament second rounds.
“I had a bad Friday afternoon at Augusta and just made the cut. Then I started horrifically at Quail Hollow and did the same at Sawgrass,” he said. “That’s like three tournaments in a row so that’s when I started to be conscious of it.
“I was three over par on Friday at (the BMW PGA) at Wentworth but managed to get it back but the Memorial (where he shot 63, 78) was obviously the biggest one.
“However, there’s nothing really to it. It might just be about higher expectations going out on Friday after a low round on Thursday so I’m going to try to put those expectations aside and take one hole at a time.”
McIlroy added: “It’s a great way to start. Any time you shoot 66 at The Open Championship you’re going to be pleased. We had perfect scoring conditions out there this morning.
“There wasn’t much wind early on. There were plenty of opportunities to make birdies and I was able to take a few of them.
“I’m looking forward to getting back out there tomorrow.”
“I expect to stick to my game plan and hit good shots,” he added. “I know that if I execute my game plan, the low numbers are there for me to shoot.”