A day after sideways rain chased everybody off St. Andrews, 73 players broke par, 45 finished in the 60s, and 16 shot 5-under or better during the first round of the British Open.
While we were all blown away by Rory McIlroy’s 63, and we all enjoyed John Daly’s 66, it’s easy to lose track of some of the other better rounds/better players out there. Let’s take a closer look at the first day.
Best rounds you didn’t hear about?
Louis Oosthuizen was 8-under through 16 holes, the same as McIlroy, before a bogey on the Road Hole. The 27-year-old South African settled for a 7-under 65, and he did it with a tee time 3 1/2 hours later than McIlroy’s.
Sweden’s Peter Hanson went off 1 1/2 hours after Oosthuizen, and he posted a 6-under 66 after birdies on three of the final holes, including the Road Hole.
Ready to win more majors?
Last year’s major winners Lucas Glover and Y.E. Yang both shot 5-under 67s, and 2008 Masters champion Trevor Immelman and Vijay Singh finished with 68s. Defending champion Stewart Cink opened with a 70, while U.S. Open champion Graeme McDowell shot 71.
Big names lurking just off the radar?
Tiger Woods was 6-under through 16 before his lone bogey on the Road Hole to shoot 67. Lee Westwood strung together five straight birdies to close out his front-nine 31, before playing even on the back to match Woods’ 67. Ernie Els shot a bogey-free 69, while Dustin Johnson birdied three of the first four holes before settling for the same score. Retief Goosen and Paul Casey also finished with 69s.
Other young guns besides McIlroy?
You know it’s a crazy day when 18-year-old Ryo Ishikawa shoots an opening 68 and it goes unnoticed. But then again, he’s tied for 17th. 20-year-old British Amateur champion Jin Jeong was actually 6-under through 14 before matching Ishikawa’s 68.
Who’s in trouble?
Usually 1-over isn’t the worst score at a British Open. But this year, it’s 10 strokes off the lead and tied for 97th. Phil Mickelson, Padraig Harrington, Tom Watson, Luke Donald and Angel Cabrera all shot 73s. The top 70 and ties make the cut.
And these guys are pretty much done. Justin Leonard and K.J. Choi carded 76s, David Duval and Jim Furyk finished with 77s, and only four players shot worse than Rickie Fowler’s 79.
[AP Photo/Peter Morrison]