Sat, Jul 20, 2013 - Page 18 News List

Johnson fires a 66 to lead Open

‘UNCONSCIOUS’:The first round was no laughing matter for Rory McIlroy, who said he suffered a ‘brain-dead’ moment when he putted his ball into a bunker at the 15th

Reuters, GULLANE, Scotland

“Sometimes I feel like I’m walking around out there and I’m unconscious,” McIlroy said. “It’s nothing to do with technique, it’s all mental. I feel like I’ve been walking around out there like that for the last couple of months. It’s a very alien feeling, something I’ve never felt before.”

US Open champion Justin Rose slipped to a 75 and title holder Ernie Els could only manage a 74 that included a double-bogey six at the 16th, where he needed three strokes to get out of a greenside bunker.

Woods, bidding to end a five-year wait for a major triumph, also said conditions were testing.

“There wasn’t a lot of talking out there because we’re trying to grind it out. It’s one of those courses where it just got so difficult,” the American said. “Some of these putts today, I mean, I putted the ball off the green and it really wasn’t that bad a putt. Anything that goes four feet by, it was gone.”

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