For a few years now, Northern Irish wunderkind Rory McIlroy has been considered one of the "next big things" in golf. That's what becoming the youngest player to win a PGA event since Tiger Woods -- especially after firing an unconscious final round 62 in the process, as he did at Quail Hollow -- will do. Now, McIlroy might be erasing the "next" from that moniker.
McIroy has set the pace at the 2010 British Open after shooting a 9-under 63 in the opening round at St. Andrews, equaling the mark for best score ever in a round at the British Open. McIlroy enjoys a three-shot lead over the resurgent John Day and Scot Andrew Coltart, who are tied for second at 6-under. Perhaps even more impressively, McIlroy began his day only 1-under through 8 holes, before putting together a scintillating stretch of golf that saw him play 7-under through 7 holes, recording an eagle, five birdies and a par over that stretch. McIlroy finished with a closing birdie on 18 to secure his historic round.
McIlroy's previous best finish at a major came in 2009, when he came in third place at the PGA Championship.
For more on the 2010 British Open, check out Waggle Room.