The opening day of the 151st Open Championship proved difficult for among the bookie’s favourites, with the leaderboard peppered with some much less acquainted names alongside these of native hero Tommy Fleetwood, who shares the early lead after a powerful first spherical 66.
Bidding to change into the primary Englishman to win the Open since Nick Faldo in 1992, Fleetwood was cheered on to each tee and each inexperienced as he started his seek for his first main title in spectacular vogue in a stiffening breeze at Royal Liverpool Golf Membership.
He shares the lead with South African beginner Christo Lamprecht, who confirmed his love of hyperlinks golf on this a part of the world when profitable the Beginner Championship at close by Hillside, and Argentina’s Emiliano Grillo, winner of the PGA Tour’s Charles Schwab Problem in Might, who birdied the final with a 50-foot putt to place his identify on the high.
On a day which began with Royal Liverpool member Matthew Jordan getting the motion underway, the course at Hoylake proved a problem for a lot of – significantly those that discovered themselves within the afternoon teams.
However South Africa’s Lamprecht, making his Open, confirmed no such struggles. Along with his imposing 6’ 8” body, Lamprecht mastered the slender fairways, swerved the devilish bunkers and produced one of many pictures of the spherical to take the clubhouse lead. Fleetwood, who hails from Southport, began patiently earlier than hitting his stride down the again 9 with 4 birdies.
For Fleetwood, not historically a quick starter, it was just about the proper opening spherical. He mentioned: “For any match, you simply wish to get off to a quick begin. It’s probably not been my power just lately. I’ve began tournaments fairly sluggish, so to get one thing going at present felt actually good. As first rounds go, that’s completely the one you wished, and to get off to an excellent begin feels good. It’s such a particular alternative to play so near dwelling, to have that assist and play an Open. I’m glad I gave them some good golf to look at.”
Elsewhere, there have been some shock names close to the highest of the leaderboard, France’s Antoine Rozner and Spain’s Adrian Otaegui each carding 67 to take a seat one behind the leaders. They had been joined by Brian Harman later within the day, the American wanting good once more a yr after ending T6 at St Andrews.
Life was more durable for Rory McIlroy, contemporary from victory on the Scottish Open, as he shot 71 in a spherical that was stuffed with drama, together with a missed two-foot putt on the eighth and a superb up and down from a greenside bunker on the final to remain at par. Reigning Champion Golfer Cameron Smith battled his option to one-over, whereas world primary Scottie Scheffler is in higher form at one-under.
Few folks regarded comfy in testing situations, however among the pre-Championship favourites grappled and floor their means round to remain in rivalry. The 2017 Champion Golfer Jordan Spieth is one other inside placing distance, though a bogey on the 18th can have left a bitter style after a fluent spherical. Spieth is one again from Wyndham Clark, the latest US Open champion whereas PGA winner Brooks Koepka overcame a sluggish begin to end one-under, stage with world primary Scottie Scheffler.
Defending Champion Cameron Smith has extra work to do nonetheless, his 4 birdies not fairly sufficient to make up for 5 bogeys on his option to 72, whereas two-time PGA Champion Justin Thomas appears to be like sure to be heading dwelling tomorrow after taking pictures an 11-over-par 82, his worst ever spherical in a significant.
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