The stars are "not talking" over the "ridiculous" farce;  ugly crowd scenes can't stop worst fears: Open Wrap

The stars are “not talking” over the “ridiculous” farce; ugly crowd scenes can’t stop worst fears: Open Wrap

Cameron Young of the United States moved into the lead in the first round of the 150th British Open at St Andrews on Thursday with an 8-under-par 64, but Rory McIlroy was just two shots behind after an impressive start to his tournament bid. A claret jug.

Young, a 25-year-old American, produced a flawless round with no bogeys and eight birdies.

That gave him a two-shot lead in the clubhouse from McIlroy, whose 66 included three straight birdies between the fifth and seventh holes.

Cameron Smith is the leading Australian who made an easy start to the Open Championship with a 5-under 67 that included six birdies and just one bogey at the 11th.

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“Places like (St Andrews) just have a certain feel and it almost gives you goosebumps,” Smith said after his round.

“Standing on the first tee at St Andrews in the Open is something I’ve only dreamed of as a kid and for it all to come true and to have the support I did there today was pretty cool.

“(The Open) hasn’t been too kind to me so far, so it would be good to have a good run.”

Elsewhere in Australia, Brad Kennedy impressed with a round of 4 under, while Min Woo Lee is on 3 and Lucas Herbert is on 2 under.

Adam Scott, playing a tougher afternoon, signed off with an even round, while Marc Leishman has a nightmare after eight holes with five bogeys on four.

Young, who is ranked 32nd in the world, finished tied for third in this year’s PGA Championship and is now in a strong position to be a contender at the weekend.

“I think any time you get a lead in a major championship or any PGA Tour event, frankly, you feel more comfortable every time,” said Young, who first played the Old Course with his parents at age 13.

“Whether I’m three, one or four behind after today, I’ll sleep well.”

McIlroy was the favorite for the Claret Jug this week and the Northern Irishman, who won the Open in 2014, lived up to his billing in the opening round.

His 66, with a single drop on the par-four 13th hole, equaled his opening-round score en route to victory at Hoylake eight years ago.

“I have to go out tomorrow and back up what I did today. I think it’s important,” said the 33-year-old, who doesn’t bat until noon on Friday.

“But then again, I don’t think this golf course is going to change that much between today and tomorrow in terms of conditions.

Hovland’s dire situation! | 01:04

– Bad start for Woods –

Tiger Woods, the two-time Open champion at St Andrews, was among the leading names to come out until the afternoon and the 46-year-old suffered a disastrous start.

He sent his approach to the first green into the Swilcan Burn and finished with a double-bogey six. Further bogeys followed at the third, fourth and seventh, while he played the back nine in one-over, leaving him at 6-under for the day and unlikely to make the cut.

The landmark setting of the world’s oldest golf tournament could not escape the controversy caused by the breakaway Saudi-backed LIV tour.

England’s Ian Poulter, one of 24 players in this week’s line-up who have agreed to enter the LIV series, was booed off the first tee when he walked out early in the morning.

After being taunted by the fairways, he teed off to the left and almost ended up off the green on the other side of the 18th fairway.

But he recovered to shoot a 69 in a round that included a mammoth eagle putt on the par-four ninth, and Poulter insisted he heard no jeers.

“I actually thought I had a great reception on the first tee to be honest. All I heard was clapping,” Poulter said.

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‘RIDICULOUS’

Players have been left frustrated by the pace of play at St Andrews, where golfers can only tee off from the first tee, most greens are shared and some are driveable, forcing long waits for landing zones to clear.

As a result, some players completed six-hour rounds, with play ending in near-darkness around 9:30pm local time.

US Open champion Matt Fitzpatrick said the situation was a “joke”.

“It’s just a joke, isn’t it?” Like six hours, 10 (minutes). This should never happen in golf,” he said. “It’s the way the golf course is set up. How solid it is. The way the golf course is designed.

“You’re overshooting a lot, and to get better angles and better lines, you have to hit all over the fairways.

“Unfortunately, there’s nothing you can do about it.” It’s sad more than anything else. It’s just ridiculous.”

Tiger before the Open | 02:15

– LIV CRITIC –

Former Open winner Phil Mickelson, Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson, Sergio Garcia and Lee Westwood are also among the members of the LIV series at St Andrews.

Westwood and Johnson shot 68 and were right in the mix, while DeChambeau and Ian Poulter were a shot back. Mickelson was even for the day.

The Open’s organizers, the R&A, chose not to ban the Rebels, unlike moves made by the PGA Tour and DP World Tour.

But R&A chief executive Martin Slumbers was heavily critical of the LIV, which offers $25 million in prize money for each 54-hole tournament, compared with the $14 million prize pot for this week’s Open.

The LIV model, he said on Wednesday, “is not in the best long-term interests of the sport as a whole and is completely driven by money”.

The players at St Andrews are competing this week to succeed Collin Morikawa, the Californian who won the Claret Jug at Royal St George’s last year and started with a par 72 on Thursday.

England’s former US Open champion Justin Rose withdrew due to a back injury shortly before the scheduled tee-off and Rikuya Hoshino of Japan took his place.

The course is hosting the championship for the 30th time and the Open is expecting a record weekly attendance of 290,000, meaning packed galleries for the first championship since the end of pandemic-related restrictions.

US ZLOUBEK ‘TROLLING’

Finally some advertising for LIV Golf.

American villain Patrick Reed he made sure everyone knew where his loyalties now lie as he batted into his opening round.

Reed wasn’t wearing just one LIV logo, but two thanks to the cap and collar.

This year’s Open features 24 players from Saudi Arabia’s Rebel League, a group banned from PGA Tour events but not by the R&A.

Reed’s best Open finish is 10th in 2019.

Where is Patrick Reed playing again?Source: FOX SPORTS

BRYSON POSTPONED

Just two days into the open, Bryson DeChambeau has reportedly been fired by sponsor Bridgestone over his ties to LIV Golf.

DeChambeau played in the LIV Golf tournament in Portland last month, going against the wishes of the PGA Tour and copping an indefinite ban from competition.

To make matters worse for the 2020 US Open champion, Bridgestone has sided with the PGA Tour and therefore dropped DeChambeau.

“The PGA Tour is an extremely important part of professional golf and Bridgestone has a sports marketing relationship with this highly visible tournament series,” Bridgestone said in a statement. Golf.com.

“Given that Bryson DeChambeau will no longer participate in these events, Bridgestone and Bryson have agreed to end their brand ambassador partnership.”

DeChambeau signed with Bridgestone in 2016 and began using its golf balls in his breakout year in 2020.

He has also already lost his sponsorship with Rocket Mortgage due to joining LIV Golf.

Bryson DeChambeau was fired by sponsor Bridgestone due to his ties to LIV Golf.Source: AFP

SIGNIFICANT ROUND TWO TEE TIMES (AEST)

Australians in bold

15:35 – Mark Calcavecchia, Ryan Fox, Jediah Morgan

17:14 – Dustin Johnson, Adam Scott, Marc Leishman

5:25 p.m.—Scottie Schefer, Joaquin Niemann, Tyrrell Hatton

18:14 – Shugo Imahira, Jason ScrivenerDavid Law

18:58 – Tiger Woods, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Max Homa

19:09 – Jordan Spieth, Jon Rahm, Harold Varner III

19:42 – Laurie Canter, Dimitrios PapadatosMatthew Griffin

20:36 – Paul Lawrie, Webb Simpson, Min Woo Lee

9:30 p.m. – Phil Mickelson, Lucas HerbertKurt Kitayama

9:53 p.m.—John Daly, Bryson DeChambeau, Cameron Tringale

22:04 – Cameron Smith, Brooks Koepka, Seamus Power

10.26pm – Cameron Young, Kyoung-Hoon Lee, Robert MacIntyre

23:26 – Ernie Els, Adri Arnaus, Brad Kennedy

23:59 – Collin Morikawa, Rory McIlroy, Xander Schauffele

12.10pm (Saturday) – Shane Lowry, Justin Thomas, Viktor Hovland

12:21 – Will Zalatoris, Hideki Matsuyama, Tony Finau

12:54 p.m. – Anthony QuayleZander Lombard, John Parry


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