Open Championship, Day 1: What happened while you were sleeping

Northern Ireland's <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/pga/players/387/" data-ylk="slk:Darren Clarke">Darren Clarke</a> hits the first tee shot of the Open Championship during the first round on Thursday, July 18 at Royal Portrush Golf Club in Northern Ireland. (Reuters/Jason Cairnduff)
Northern Ireland's Darren Clarke hits the first tee shot of the Open Championship during the first round on Thursday, July 18 at Royal Portrush Golf Club in Northern Ireland. (Reuters/Jason Cairnduff)

The Open Championship is one of the finest sporting events on the planet, but dang, does it start early for Americans. The first tee shots went off at 1:45 a.m. ET, 10:45 p.m. Wednesday night on the west coast. So we can forgive you if you slept through and missed the first few hours. That’s what we’re here for. Let’s catch you up.

[Live leaderboard: First round of the Open Championship]

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McIlroy’s horrible first: Rory McIlroy rolled into Royal Portrush as the favorite. It didn’t take him long to shed that label, as he hit his first shot out of bounds en route to a quadruple-bogey 8. His odds to win dropped from 8-1 to 33-1 after just one hole.

Duval’s Decuple: McIlroy’s first hole wasn’t the worst of the day so far, not even close. Take a look at David Duval’s scorecard, but don’t drink your coffee while you do:

Yes, that’s an 8-4-15 run on the front nine, but good news: the score was later corrected to 13. Thirteen! Eight shots over par! The hole involved Duval hitting the wrong ball, among other horrors, and it’s pretty safe to say he won’t be seeing the weekend.

Phil’s Phlameout: Phil Mickelson made headlines when he claimed to have lost 15 pounds coming into Royal Portrush. What he lost around the waistline, he gained on the scorecard, finishing at five over par. Not an ideal beginning.

Clarke’s hot start: Darren Clarke, who calls Portrush home and helped bring the Open back to Northern Ireland, got the honor of beginning this year’s tournament. And he proceeded to birdie the first hole, a lovely beginning. He would get as low as three under through the first five before fading back to even for the day.

BEEEEEEF: Andrew “Beef” Johnston is a crowd favorite in Europe, and this long, curling eagle brought exactly the reception you’d expect:

And finally ... : Check out this beagle that got loose on the 16th hole. You aren’t gonna see that at Augusta National, folks.

Enjoy the rest of your Open Thursday, friends.

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Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Contact him at jay.busbee@yahoo.com or find him on Twitter or on Facebook.

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