Jul 20, 2018
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The Open 2018: Rory McIlroy in rivalry, Tiger Woods and Jordan Spieth fade, Kevin Kisner leads

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The Open 2018: Rory McIlroy in rivalry, Tiger Woods and Jordan Spieth fade, Kevin Kisner leads

The Open 2018: ‘Excellent’ Willett & ‘elegant’ Fowler in finest photographs
The 147th Open Championship – first-round leaderboard
-5 Ok Kisner (US); -4 E Van Rooyen (SA), T Finau (US), Z Lombard (SA); -3 B Stone (SA), R Moore (US), B Steele (US)
Chosen others: -2 M Southgate (Eng), D Willett (Eng), R McIlroy (NI), J Rahm (Spa), Z Johnson (US), J Thomas (US); -1 R Fowler (US), C Wooden (Eng); Degree A Sullivan (Eng), E Pepperell (Eng), T Woods (US); +1 J Spieth (US), J Rose (Eng), L Westwood (Eng), T Fleetwood (Eng)Full leaderboard

Rory McIlroy started his bid for a primary main in 4 years with an opening-round 69 as Tiger Woods completed degree par at Carnoustie on his Open return.

Northern Eire’s McIlroy, 29, sunk three birdies to depart him three photographs behind chief Kevin Kisner.

American Kisner, 34, carded an eagle and 4 birdies in a five-under 66.

Woods, at his first Open since 2015, was two underneath after 12 however ended with a 71, whereas defending champion Jordan Spieth and Justin Rose are one over.

World primary Dustin Johnson noticed his probabilities harmed by a triple bogey on the par-four 18th to complete with a five-over 76.

“I’m proud of 69 and I’m proud of my day’s work,” mentioned four-time main champion McIlroy, whose final triumph got here on the 2014 PGA Championship.

“I feel with a few of the spots I hit it off the tee I might take it.”

McIlroy made birdies on the third, 12th and 13th, with a bogey on the fifth was his solely blemish, serving to him be part of England’s Matthew Southgate and Danny Willett on two underneath.

South African pair Erik van Rooyen and Zander Lombard, together with American Tony Finau, are a shot adrift of Kisner after 67s, whereas Brandon Stone – one other South African who won the Scottish Open earlier this week – is an additional shot behind.

McIlroy saves ‘glorious’ par

Woods amongst later gamers feeling the breeze

Of the 156 gamers aiming to win the 147th Open, solely 31 managed to complete underneath par in benign situations on the east coast of Scotland, on the hyperlinks dubbed Automobile-nasty.

On a dry, quick course in heat temperatures, scoring proved to be simpler earlier within the day with 5 of the main seven gamers having teed off within the morning because the breeze began to select up within the afternoon.

Woods, 42, was among the many late starters and commenced by sinking a birdie putt from 10 toes on the primary, adopted by one other birdie on the fourth.

The 14-time main winner’s progress was stalled by a bogey on the 10th and, after cancelling that out with a 35-foot birdie putt on the following, dropped extra photographs on the 13th and 15th.

“I believed I performed a reasonably strong spherical,” mentioned Woods, who has not received a significant since 2008. “The spherical might actually have been slightly higher.”

Woods explains tee-shot technique

Spieth rues ‘missed alternative’

Spieth, a three-time main champion, is bidding to develop into the primary participant to retain the Claret Jug since Eire’s Padraig Harrington a decade in the past.

The 24-year-old American was three underneath after 11, however dropped 4 photographs within the ultimate 4 holes to complete six photographs adrift of Kisner.

“It felt like a missed alternative. I felt like I used to be actually going effectively,” mentioned the Texan.

“I feel I am actually in a recoverable state of affairs. I imply, I think about that is as simple because the course might play.”

Spieth is certainly one of seven American gamers sharing a home of the east coast of Scotland this week – together with Kisner.

Solely Kisner and Rickie Fowler, who shot a gap one-under 70, haven’t received a significant among the many group, with Spieth, Justin Thomas, Jason Dufner, Zach Johnson and Jimmy Walker having claimed eight between them.

“It isn’t intimidating in any respect,” mentioned Kisner. “All people is simply actually chill and it is a number of enjoyable to be round these guys.”

Koepka, who received defended his US Open title final month, went out in 41 on the entrance 9 earlier than turning his card round with a back-nine 31.

World quantity two Thomas completed two underneath, Reed opened with a four-over 75, whereas five-time main champion Phil Mickelson shot a 73 and two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson a 75.

The Open 2018: Spherical of the day – Kevin Kisner

Willett getting back from ‘darkish place’

Yorkshireman Willett, 30, has struggled for kind and health since his shock win on the 2016 Masters, dropping in direction of the foot of the world’s prime 500 earlier than climbing again as much as 320th in current weeks.

After teeing off within the third group of the day at 06:57 BST he responded with a powerful spherical containing 5 birdies.

“I am fairly hopeful we’ll by no means be in as darkish a spot as we have been,” Willett mentioned.

Requested to elucidate how darkish it had been, he added: “Pitch black. It wasn’t good for some time however that is type of the state of affairs we have been in. We have been combating and the physique was being actually uncooperative.”

World quantity three Rose was indignant with a photographer after lacking a brief birdie putt on the sixth and his temper darkened additional when a double-bogey seven on the 14th dropped him to 2 over, however he completed with a birdie on the 18th.

Fellow Englishman Chris Wooden completed one underneath whereas Andy Sullivan and Eddie Pepperell signed for level-par 71s.

Tommy Fleetwood, US Open runner-up final month, is one over alongside Lee Westwood and Matthew Fitzpatrick with Paul Casey, Ian Poulter and Scotland’s Russell Knox a shot additional again.

Scottish 19-year-old novice Sam Locke, who works part-time in 1999 champion Paul Lawrie’s Aberdeenshire golf centre, shot 72 on his Open debut with 60-year-old Sandy Lyle, who struck the opening tee shot at 06:35, 4 over.

Sergio Garcia, the 2017 Masters champion, completed 4 over with Harrington, the champion the final time the Open was held at Carnoustie in 2007, 5 over.

Evaluation

BBC golf correspondent Iain Carter

It is undoubtedly the case that the fellows who have been out within the morning had the higher situations. It was an actual grind for Woods and co out very late on; the greens have been getting crusty and the breeze was getting up.

I rank Rory McIlroy’s spherical very extremely. He is not somebody who prospers in quick and agency situations. He mentioned he could be very daring and go together with the motive force and attempt to play aggressively as he presumably might and it is paid dividends. He is out early on Friday and kicking off at two underneath, he’ll love that place.

‘Behave’ Koepka reaches first inexperienced with tee shot

BBC Sport – Golf
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