Michelle Wie hit a low bullet off the tee with a hybrid club on the par-5 sixth hole at Royal Birkdale, getting past the bunker at the dogleg and leaving an open shot at the green Thursday in the Women's British Open in Southport, England.

She laid up with a 6-iron, leaving her an awkward distance from 60 yards to a front pin. The U.S. Women's Open champion had to work to make par.

On the par-5 17th, the Stanford graduate hit another hybrid stinger down the fairway, followed by another 6-iron to the same, difficult distance. She tried a pitch that would run up onto the green, only this stopped short, and she had to get up-and-down for par.

Wie wound up with a 3-over 75 and was seven shots out of the lead. One problem was not taking advantage of the par 5s, which she is trying to figure out because of the bunkers. The sixth hole has pot bunkers guarding each side of the elevated green. The 17th has two bunkers that are slightly staggered in distance.

"I left myself short of those bunkers," Wie said. "I didn't want to mess with those bunkers. ... I just kind of played it a little bit safe."

The 18th is the only time Wie hit driver. That left her a 7-iron to the green. She went long, but chipped to tap-in range for her only birdie on a par 5.

"Thought I made a good game plan," Wie said. "Just didn't hit good shots."

Ayako Uehara was the leader at 4-under 68, one shot ahead of Mo Martin.

Only nine players broke par, all but two of them in the calm of a sunny morning along the Irish Sea.

"It's only going to get harder," defending champion Stacy Lewis said after a 71.

Morgan Pressel scrambled to a 70, joined by Monterey's Mina Harigae and Sarah Kemp. The only players to broke par in the afternoon were So Yeon Ryu and Amy Yang at 71. Also at 1 under was Holly Clyburn.

Pleasanton native Paula Creamer was 5 over after five holes and rallied for a 75.

European: Rory McIlroy shot a 7-under 64 in blustery conditions, giving him a one-stroke lead at the Scottish Open and showing his links game is in great shape ahead of next week's British Open at Hoylake.

"I feel I am as prepared as I have ever been to play this type of golf," he said after making eight birdies -- six of which came in a seven-hole spell from Nos. 8-14 at Royal Aberdeen.

Kristoffer Broberg -- who went out in the first group at 6:30 a.m. local time -- and Ricardo Gonzalez shot 65s.

Defending champion Phil Mickelson missed a 3-foot par putt at the final hole for his only bogey in a 68.

Champions: Colin Montgomerie shot a 6-under 65 in oppressive heat to lead the U.S. Senior Open in Edmond, Oklahoma.

The Scotsman started on No. 10 and birdied 14, 15 and 16 on the way to a 33 on the back nine at Oak Tree National. He also birdied six, seven and eight.

Marco Dawson was second at 66. Mark Brooks shot a 68 and was third.

Bernhard Langer, who already has won three tour events this year, shot a 69 and was in a five-way tie for fourth.

Play was delayed for 77 minutes at the start due to the threat of lightning and was suspended because of darkness with three players still on the course.

Wilting 90-plus degree heat with humidity hit in the afternoon. Darrell Kestner, 60, completed 14 holes before withdrawing and being treated for a heat-related issue.

  • Mark O'Meara withdrew from the British Open because of an ailing elbow. He was concerned that the firm turf of a links course at Hoylake's Royal Liverpool could do more damage. O'Meara is playing in the U.S. Senior Open, where he opened with a 75 at Oak Tree. He won The Open in 1998 at Royal Birkdale.

    PGA: Zach Johnson, Rory Sabbatini and Brian Harman shot 8-under 63s to share a one-stroke lead at the John Deere Classic in Silvis, Illinois.

    Harman was 2 under through six holes when caddie Scott Tway took ill. Jay Hatch, a high school basketball coach from Davenport, Iowa, volunteered from the gallery and carried Harman's bag the last 12 holes at TPC Deere Run.

    "I called a medic over, and Scottie said he was going to have to sit out at least a couple holes," Harman said. "Jay was standing there and said, 'I'll do it. I'll keep up.' "