National Sports

Ilonen shoots record 64 to take lead at Irish Open

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CORK, Ireland (AP) — Finland’s Mikko Illonen shot a seven-under-par 64 to set a new course record on Thursday as crowd favorite Rory McIlroy struggled on the opening day of the Irish Open.

Illonen birdied five of his closing seven holes in superb morning conditions on the Fota Island course in Cork and took a three-stroke clubhouse lead over Italy’s Edoardo Molinari and England’s Matthew Baldwin, who were the next best among the early finishers.

The 64 is a new low for a course that has undergone major changes since its previous staging of the Irish Open in 2002.

McIlroy hit just eight of the 14 fairways and took 30 putts in a round of three-over 74.

 

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