Poor start for England's Paul Casey, two over after opening four holes. Compatriot David Howell still level with three to play and McIlroy currently the best of the Brits at one under.
It's definitely a sun cream day at Hoylake. Barely a cloud in the sky and it's only going to get hotter out on the course.
A good start for the American contingent on the Wirral today, with four of our trans Atlantic cousins currently in the top 11. Tiger Wood however conspicuous by his absence as Brooks Koepka leads the charge for Uncle Sam at two under.
In fact, we have eight Americans under par as we speak. Hold the phone, Tiger Woods has just birdied five and those in the USA who are awake rejoice.
English amateur Ashley Chesters still enjoying a fine round, level par after 11.
A birdie two from Brooks Koepka on the not-so-unlucky 13th and the 24-year-old American joins Karlsson and Garcia at the top.
Solid progress from McIlroy. Two pars to follow his birdie on the second and the Northern Irishman is ticking over at one under.
"It means everything to me," says Singleton, a local lad. "You dream of playing the Open growing up, but you don't actually believe you are going to do it. And then to qualify at Hillside and to be playing at home, this all feels like the Olympics to me. Thursday will be some day. Friends and family all there. It will be one of the greatest days of my life."
Movement at the top as Rickie Fowler birdies the 8th and goes three under. In other news, Ian Poulter's had a torrid start with two bogeys on his opening four to slump to two over.
The first group are finished and Sweden's Robert Karlsson signs off with a par on the 18th to record a three-under round of 69. For the moment, that's good enough for a share of the lead.
In the same group David Howell cards a level-par 72. A decent day's work from the man who finished seventh in 2008.
Big move from McIlroy, sinking his first putt on the par three 6th for birdie. He's three under and right in the mix now.
Amateur Ashley Chesters still going strong at one under after 14. In stark contrast, fellow part-timer Bradley Neil enduring a torrid round at six over after just 11.
Remarkably Chesters is the best-placed Englishman at Hoylake at the moment. Luke Donald is level par while three-time Open champion Sir Nick Faldo is also level after par fours on his opening two holes.
First mention of the day for the USA's Jim Furyk, who has just birdied 10 to go to three under. A great start from the 2003 US Open champion and with three 4th place finishes in the Open in his career, a man not to be discounted.
Furyks' birdie means we have a six-way tie for top spot *tight*
The surprise name in that six-man list is Italy's Matteo Manassero, a golfer who has never recorded a top 10 finish in any of the Majors.
My profuse apologies to the friends and family of Manassero who has just dropped a shot on the 12th to slip back down the leaderboard. I really didn't mean to upset his concentration...
Japan's Hideki Matsuyama picks up a shot on seven and it's all change again as seven hopefuls now share top billing at Hoylake.
No way! Nine golfers now tied at three under! Too many to list when we have our lovely leaderboard a mere glance to your right. Feast your eyes...
OK, make that 10 level on three under now...
And now we have 11 of the field vying for top billing as Scotland's Stephen Gallacher picks up a shot at six - his third birdie in succession - to join the throng at the top of an increasingly congested leaderboard.