Bjorn leader, McIiroy trails in solid British Open first round - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Bjorn leader, McIiroy trails in solid British Open first round

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For the first time in 11 months, Rory McIlroy walked off the 18th green in the early stages of a major championship and did not see his name atop the leaderboard.

That's how good he has been at golf's biggest events.

And the way he rallied from a rugged start Thursday in the British Open, McIlroy didn't think his 1-over 71 was all that bad.

Facing enormous attention coming off his wire-to-wire win at the U.S. Open last month, McIlroy made a few key putts in the middle of his round to steady himself against a stiff breeze at Royal St. George's and stuck to his plan of keeping his score around par.

He was six shots behind early leader Thomas Bjorn, who played extraordinary golf in tough conditions. Zach Johnson of Easter Iowa was 8 shots back during the early going.

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