Bjorn again: Dane in lead as rusty Rory suffers
Thomas Bjorn took the early lead at the British Open at Royal St George’s on a day when Rory McIlroy stuggled to edge up the scoreboard.
Bjorn, a 40-year-old Dane, handed a last-gasp place at the tornament when Fiji's Vijay Singh pulled out, carded a five-under-par 65 to take a one-shot lead from Spain’s Miguel Angel Jimenez.
McIlroy - who took an extended break after his US Open success - ran up bogeys on the first and third and had to sink some lengthy par putts.
A birdie at the eight helped him turn in one-over 36. But he dropped another shot on the 13th.
Another birdie on the 17th meant he signed for a 71.
Bjorn sits one shot ahead of Jimenez and two ahead of 1989 champion Mark Calcavecchia.
The 51-year-old American was in the second group out at 6:41am and had carded three birdies and just one bogey in 17 holes.
England’s Danny Willett, winner of the English Amateur title on this course in 2007, had set the clubhouse target at one under par after compiling a 69 in the first group out.
Players had been struggling to even reach the seventh fairway in the strong winds on Tuesday and Wednesday, with tournament officials admitting tees would have to be moved forward if similar conditions persisted.