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Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland acknowledges the crowd after making a birdie putt on the 12th green during the first round of the British Open Championship Thursday at the Royal Liverpool Golf Club in Hoylake, England. Reuters

British Open: McIlroy leads after opening round

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By Tony Jimenez

Reuters

HOYLAKE, England — Golfing gunslingers Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods sprayed Royal Liverpool with a barrage of birdie bullets to steal the show in a thrilling opening round of the 143rd British Open on Thursday.

Northern Irishman McIlroy has developed a penchant for making fast starts and he did it yet again on a blisteringly hot day at the third major championship of the season, firing a pacesetting six-under-par 66.

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