ST. ANDREWS, Scotland – Rory McIlroy found himself nine shots off the lead after a 1-over-par 73 in the first round of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship on Thursday.
Four days after celebrating a third straight European Ryder Cup victory, McIlroy could manage just one birdie against two bogeys at Carnoustie, one of the three courses.
Oliver Wilson of England, ranked 791 places below the top-ranked McIlroy, equaled the Carnoustie course record with an 8-under 64.
Wilson was in the Ryder Cup in 2008, the last time Europe lost to the U.S, but since 2011 has been competing on the secondary Challenge Tour. He sank nine birdie putts, and finished birdie-birdie-birdie-bogey-birdie.
"I shot a 63 a fortnight ago in the Kazakhstan Open, which is our major on the Challenge Tour, so to shoot a 64 here at Carnoustie is very pleasing," Wilson said.