Day One of the 2015 Open Championship at St. Andrews had familiar names atop the leaderboard from the morning wave.
— NBC Sports (@NBCSports) July 16, 2015
After his round was over, the favorite to win this week ,Jordan Spieth, was pretty satisfied with his -5, 67 score. He is tied for seventh and two shots behind off the lead. When Spieth was asked how he felt about his round to ESPN’s Tom Rinaldi, he replied: “I’m very pleased with the start.”
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) July 16, 2015
Who could blame his line of thinking?
With weather conditions expected to be more of a challenge the next two days of the tournament, you want to put as much of a low number as possible. Spieth’s round started off brilliantly having birdied five of the first seven holes he faced on the front nine. On the back nine, he shot an even 36 with only two bogeys. He was able to erase his second bogey with a birdie on the 18th hole. After pulling his drive into the first fairway, his second shot landed around 15-20 ft past the hole. With a birdie chance, his putt started left and curved right to find the bottom of the cup. That was sure to make tonight’s dinner taste that much better and give Spieth peace of mind heading into tomorrow.
However, the man he is chasing is the same whom he defeated at last month’s U.S. Open. Dustin Johnson, who has been under scrutiny for three-putting away the championship to Spieth, let out his frustration in his opening round. Paired together, Johnson showed no signs of lingering effects as he carved out a bogey-free 65 and tops the leaderboard with -7. Dustin Johnson is the leader in the clubhouse at The Open so far after shooting a 7-under-par 65 in the first round. pic.twitter.com/EJCPburUL2 — SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) July 16, 2015
Johnson carded five birdies, including an eagle at the par-five fifth hole. However, that wasn’t the highlight to his round.
It was his par save at the 17th- Road Hole that made his round brilliant. After pulling his drive into the second fairway, his second shot was short of the green with by 25 yards. He flopped his third shot onto the putting surface, with very little margin for error. Once there, he buried his putt from 20 ft and kept his round blemish free.
For those wondering how Tiger Woods did, there wasn’t much to talk about. After so much confidence was made about his strong play at the Greenbrier Classic, he finished with a +4, 76 tying him for 143rd for the Open Championship with Tom Watson.
Tiger Woods finishes with a 4-over 76, his worst first round score as a pro in The Open Championship. pic.twitter.com/d6oZ9yvfSc
— 120 Sports (@120Sports) July 16, 2015
Woods did manage to squeak out some light, in an otherwise dark Thursday for him. He made his only birdie on the 14th hole that made his scorecard look a little Tiger-like.
However, just like Johnson on the 17th hole, Woods dug into his bag of tricks. Woods pulled his tee shot into the second fairway, trying to play a slice which is ideal for the Road Hole. His ball refused to carve around the hotel, which makes for a blinding drive from the tee box. His second shot landed on the front portion of the putting surface, at least 25 ft. away from the hole. He left his putt short with this third shot, having to save par from 10 ft. away. And saved he did, draining the putt and showing glimpses of his former brilliance.
However, he will need to go low tomorrow to make the cut, while challenging the expected weather elements.
Dustin Johnson would be the first player to take the 18-hole lead in both Opens since Gary Player in 1974. pic.twitter.com/KtBprW1vvX
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) July 16, 2015
Here is the complete leaderboard for the 144th Open Championship, according to WWW.GOLFCHANNEL.COM.
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