McIlroy struggles at St Andrews

Rory McIlroy's indifferent run of form continued in the St Andrews Links Trophy at the Home of Golf.

The 18-year-old Holywood player opened with a disappointing one over par 73 on the Jubilee Course to finish eight shots behind first round pacesetter Nigel Edwards of Wales.

Walker Cup veteran Edwards scorched to a seven under par 65 to lead by a stroke from James Byrne, Jason Barnes and Ross Kellett.

Co Louth's Simon Ward posted a level par 72 to share 42nd place with McIlroy in a large group a shot further back in 68th place alongside 2005 winner Lloyd Saltman - the recently crowned Irish Amateur Open champion.

Ranked No 1 in the World Amateur Golf Rankings after making the cut at the Dubai Desert Classic in February, McIlroy has since slumped to 13th.

His next outing is the British Amateur Championship at Royal Lytham and St Annes in two weeks' time.

After that he will play in the European Amateur Team Championships and the Barclays Scottish Open before teeing it up in the Open Championship at Carnoustie as European Amateur champion.

St Andrews Links Trophy

Rd 1 (Jubilee Course, Par 72)

65 Nigel Edwards (Whitchurch)
66 James Byrne (Banchory), Jason Barnes (Chart Hills), Ross Kellett (Colville Park)
67 Scott Arnold (Australia), Jamie Moul (Stoke-by-Nayland)
68 David Horsey (Styal), Ian Kenwright (Haydock Park), Scott Henry (Cardross), Stephen Clark (USA), Llewellyn Matthews (Southerndown), Jonathan Hurst (Shaw Hill)

72 Simon Ward (Co Louth)
73 Rory McIlroy (Holywood), Lloyd Saltman (Craigielaw)