RBC Heritage

Harbour Town Golf Links

The Loop

First group finishes before dawn on East Coast

July 15, 2010

ST. ANDREWS, Scotland -- Shortly before 11 a.m. Thursday, Steve Marino had already finished work for the day on a calm, damp opening day at the British Open.

Marino was in the first pairing at 6:30 a.m. "I think that's the earliest I've ever woken up to play golf," Marino said of getting up at 3:30 a.m. But the early start was worth it. Conditions were vulnerable and Marino carded a three-under 69 on the Old Course. "It was awesome. It was definitely out there for the taking."

Marino wasn't the only player in the first couple of groups to have success. Paul Lawrie, paired with Marino, also had a 69. Germany's Marcel Siem, in the 6:41 pairing, did even better, shooting a 67. Loren Roberts, the 2009 Senior British Open champion, played with Siem. Roberts was three under through six but finished with a 73.

"The first seven or eight holes, you're not going to get any easier around here," said Lawrie. "The course is in excellent shape. I think it's the best we've ever seen it."

-- Bill Fields