Open leader Shane Lowry celebrates a putt on the 15th hole. Picture: Glyn Kirk/AFP/Getty Images

Shane Lowry: I’m a different person to one who blew four-shot lead

Shane Lowry reckons he’s a “different person” to the one that blew a four-shot lead in the final round of the 2016 US Open at Oakmont. We’re about to find out.Cheered on by a frenzied home crowd, the Offaly man is the same margin clear again in a major. This one is on home soil. Lowry would be toasted from one end of the Emerald Isle to the other if he finishes the job off this time by winning the 148th Open Championship at Royal Portrush.

Rory McIlroy says farewell on the 18th green as he makes an early exit from his home Open. Picture: Glyn Kirk/AFP/Getty Images

Cut is agony for Rory McIlroy as he just falls short

Oh to have the first day back, just one hole, any hole, but mostly the 16th where he rushed a short one and missed. There is no fairground ride in golf like Rory McIlroy. He promised a response and delivered, shooting a best-of-the-day 65 to close on two over par. It was not enough, falling agonisingly one shot the wrong side of the cut mark.

America's J. B. Holmes plays his second shot to the 17th at Royal Portrush. Picture: Kevin C. Cox/Getty

Cheers and tears at Royal Portrush on a drama-packed opening day

It will mainly be remembered as the day when Rory McIlroy’s dream turned into a nightmare, but there was much more that would have been talked about over pints of Guinness in the local hostelries at the end of a dramatic opening day in the 148th Open Championship at Royal 

Rory McIlroy cuts a dejected figure at the 18th hole. Picture: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

How Rory McIlroy’s homecoming fell flat

The cheer as Rory McIlory walked up the 18th was one of sympathy. His ball was buried in a hillock to the right of the green. He had taken four strokes to get there. This was not the walk of destiny promised in the build-up, not the note of triumph in which all were invested. He finished with a seven, believe it or not, one better than the score with which he opened his account.

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