Cameron Young opened with a bogey-free 8-under 64 and will take a two-shot lead into Friday’s second round of the 150th Open Championship.
The 25-year-old New York native finished with 10 pars and eight birdies, highlighted by five going out, including four in a five-hole stretch (Nos. 2-3 and 5-6), to turn on 31. On his homeward nine, Young added two more gains on Nos. 11 and 12 and then a final birdie on 18 to reach 8-under par.
“I think we worked our way around the golf course really well,” said Young, who owns five top-3 finishes on the 2022 season. “I don’t think that I played a perfect round of golf. I think it just kind of — I scored really well.
“And I think we thought our way around kind of the way you have to out there.”
Rory McIlroy was two off the pace after signing for a scorecard, featuring one bogey against seven birdies, including a final-hole gain to secure solo second on 6 under.
“Yeah, fantastic start. Just sort of what you hope will happen when you’re starting off your week,” said the controversial McIlroy.
“Yeah, I mean I did everything that you’re supposed to do around St Andrews. I birdied the holes that are birdieable. And I made pars at the holes where you’re sort of looking to make a par and move to the next tee. And didn’t really put myself out of position too much.
“I had — sort of maybe trying to be a little bit too cute with the second shot on 13, but apart from that, missed it in the right areas, areas where you can get it up-and-down from. And yeah, got off to a good start going out, which is sort of important here, make your score go right and sort of hang on a little bit coming in.
“So, yeah, overall really pleased. It’s another good start at a major. Three in a row for me now. And looking forward to the next few days.”
Cameron Smith was tied for third with Robert Dinwiddle on 5 under.
A group of eight players were one further back on 4 under 68, including two-time major winner Dustin Johnson, who offset two bogeys with six birdies, highlighted by four gains in a six-hole stretch.
World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler, Lee Westwood, Viktor Hovland and Talor Gooch, among others, joined Johnson on 4 under.
Joaquin Niemann, Xander Schauffele, Ian Poulter, Bryson DeCheambeau and Padraig Harrington headlined a group of 14 more players tied on 3-under 69.
Eleven more players were one further back on 2-under 70, including Tyrrell Hatton, Patrick Cantlay and Ernie Els.
Major winners Jordan Spieth, Hideki Matsuyama, Webb Simpson and Louis Oosthuizen were joined by Abraham Ancer and Paul Casey as headliners in a group at 1-under 71.
Adam Scott, Sam Burns, Shane Lowry, Patrick Reed, Phil Mickelson, Collin Morikawa, Matt Fitzpatrick, Tommy Fleetwood and Justin Thomas were among the marquee names in another logjam of 22 players at even-par 72, one clear of four more tournament headliners in Will Zalatoris, Jon Rahm, Tony Finau and Brooks Koepka, who opened 1-over 73.
Tiger Woods made double bogey on the first hole en route to a 6-over par 78.
The 2022 Open Championship
Top-10 Leaders: Round One
Pos-Player-To Par (Score)
1. Cameron Young -8 (64)
2. Rory McIlroy -6 (66)
3. Robert Dinwiddle -5 (67)
3. Cameron Smith -5 (67)
5. Dustin Johnson -4 (68)
5. Talor Gooch -4 (68)
5. Lee Westwood -4 (68)
5. Scottie Scheffler -4 (68)
5. Brad Kennedy -4 (68)
5. Viktor Hovland -4 (68)