Gary Woodland starts with 74 in Round 1 at British Open

Gary Woodland of the United States picks his ball out of the 4th green during the first round of the British Open Golf Championships at Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland, Thursday, July 18, 2019.

Former Kansas golf standout Gary Woodland got off to a slow start at the 2019 British Open in Northern Ireland on Thursday.

Woodland, the Topeka native who won golf’s most recent major championship (the U.S. Open back in June), carded a 3-over-par 74 in Round 1 of this year’s Open Championship at Royal Portrush Golf Club in County Antrim, Northern Ireland.

At the time he finished the 18th hole during Round 1 of the PGA Tour's final major of the season, Woodland sat in a tie for 97th place, with several golfers still on the course.

Woodland’s round included four bogeys, one birdie and 13 pars, with the birdie coming on the par-4 fifth hole and bogeys immediately following on holes 6 and 7.

Woodland avoided major trouble throughout the round for the most part but could not get anything going on the back nine, bogeying No. 11 and No. 17 and parring the rest.

Playing with pre-tournament favorite Rory McIlroy, of the United Kingdom, and fellow-Englishman Paul Casey, Woodland more than held his own in his group.

In fact, McIlroy’s treacherous start may have been a shock to the system of all three golfers in the group, as the four-time major winner recorded a quadruple bogey 8 on the very first hole of their round.

McIlroy rallied a bit from there and got to 3-over at the turn, but a double bogey on 16 and triple bogey on 18 left him at 8-over for the day and in 148th place.

Casey, meanwhile carded three bogeys and two birdies and sat at 1-over by the end of his round.

This same threesome will tee it up again Friday, when roughly half of the field will be cut heading into the weekend.

Irishman Shane Lowry was the Open leader at the time Woodland finished. He fired a 4-under 67, with five birdies and just one bogey.

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