AUGUSTA, Ga. — When Rory McIlroy went to sleep last night he wasn't thinking about the Masters. He was thinking about the British Open.
Yesterday, the curly-haired, 21-year-old sensation from Northern Ireland mastered the fast greens at Augusta National like Minnesota Fats in a pool hall. Beginning with a string of three birdies on Nos. 2, 3 and 4, McIlroy was in total command of himself and the course on his way to a 7-under 65 and a share of the first-round lead with Spain's Alvaro Quiros.
What McIlroy must do now is not repeat what happened the last time he shot himself into the first-round lead at a major because what followed the next day was its polar opposite. He went from an explosion to an implosion.