Thursday's Birdies And Bogeys
July 18, 2012
Birdie: Adam ScottPlaying in his 46th career major championship, the Australian is in the best position to win his first after the opening round. His 64 not only gave him a one-shot lead, but also tied the course record at Royal Lytham & St Annes. Earlier this year, Scott said he planned to play less so he'd be more fresh when it mattered most. That strategy seems to be paying off, as Scott has finished T-8 and T-15 in the season's first two majors.
Bogey: Adam ScottOK, so maybe we're being a little tough on the first-round leader, but he admitted to thinking about breaking the major championship scoring record on the 17th tee and his thoughts weren't all that positive. "I know there's never been a 62. [I] realized it was a par 70 and I also probably realized that I wasn't going to be the guy to shoot 62." Hmm. Who's his mental coach? Sergio Garcia?
Birdie: Tiger WoodsHe's back! Four birdies in his first seven holes put Tiger Woods alone atop the leader board at the British Open for the first time since his victory at Hoylake in 2006. Taking advantage of an early tee time in perfect scoring conditions, Woods was accurate off the tee and sharp with his short game, including nearly holing a pitch for eagle on No. 7. A front-nine 30 appeared to have him well on his way to career major No. 15, but ...
Bogey: Tiger Woods... Woods wouldn't make another birdie the rest of the day (He's not back!). While his opening 67 has him in the mix, he missed a golden opportunity to go really low on a course that should only get tougher as it dries out the rest of the week. Perhaps the best indicator of what could have been? Woods only missed one fairway in the round, but it led to his lone bogey on No. 15.
Birdie: Tom WatsonThree years after his remarkable run at the 2009 British Open, where he fell second in painful fashion to Stewart Cink, Watson isn't done making noise in majors. His opening-round 71 marks his second-best ever score at Royal Lytham. He also managed to beat both of his playing partners, Ryo Ishikawa and Martin Kaymer, who shot 74 and 77, respectively. How remarkable is that? Consider that the 62-year old Watson is 15 years older than the combined ages of Ishikawa, 20, and Kaymer, 27.
Bogey: Lee WestwoodFair or not, Lee Westwood has been dogged by the label of "Best golfer never to have won a major," and it doesn't look like he'll lose the title this week. His day started out perfectly with two birdies on the first two holes, but a double bogey on the third started a descent that would leave him at 3-over 73 for the day. Currently T-99, Westwood is now in jeopardy of being the best player to miss the cut.
Birdie: Bubba WatsonRestraint is not a characteristic of "Bubba golf," but a conservative Bubba Watson maneuvered his way through the tight Royal Lytham for a first round 67. Admitting he's "not very good at playing smarter," the reigning Masters champ replaced his 4-wood with a 2-iron for the Open, only landing in the long rough twice off the tee on Day 1.
Bogey: British Open ConditionsIf you love watching the pros tee it up in cold, rainy and windy weather, this was not your day. The umbrellas were away and many players wore short sleeves, while barely having to factor in a breeze. Those playing in the morning had it the easiest, but the afternoon wave wasn't exactly battling the elements, either. Looking ahead to the rest of the week, the forecast calls for conditions to be even better -- or worse, depending on your opinion.
Birdie: Rory McIlroyEntering this week, McIlroy had the tall task of bouncing back from a recent rough stretch that included four missed cuts in five weeks. On Thursday, he showed he could also recover from about as odd of an occurrence that one could ever imagine happening to a golfer: a ball bouncing off a fan's head out of bounds. The unthinkable took place on the 15th hole, causing McIlroy to sign a glove for the injured patron before heading back to the tee. He made a double bogey, but then birdied two of the final three holes to finish with an opening 67. Now that's keeping your head.
Bogey: Phil MickelsonOn a day when a low score was attainable, Lefty struggled en route to a 3-over 73. Troubled all day by the long rough at Royal Lytham, Mickelson twice found himself with lies where he was unable to see the ball -- one resulting in a rough-to-rough shank. This continues a foreboding trend for Mickelson, whose last three starts have resulted in two missed cuts and a T-65 at the U.S. Open.
Birdie: Last week's winnersNormally, the John Deere Classic wouldn't be considered the ideal tuneup for an Open, but Zach Johnson seems to be, um, bucking that belief. An opening 65 has the two-time winner on the PGA Tour in 2012 eyeing a second career major. Meanwhile, Jeev Milkha Singh earned his spot in this week's field by winning in more comparable conditions at the Scottish Open. He's taking advantage so far, shooting a 70 to put himself in great shape to make his first career cut at the British Open while matching Vijay for low Singh of the day.
Birdie: Nicolas ColsaertsUsing a hole-out for eagle at the par-4 second hole to propel his round, Colsearts worked his way to a five-under 65 on Day 1 of the Open. Though he only hit eight fairways, Colsearts managed to hit 88% of his greens. The 29-year-old Belgian is the longest driver on the European tour (and the PGA Tour in his four starts), and is on his way to another strong major after spending time near the lead as well at the U.S. Open.