We're off and running at The 150th Open Championship. Things kicked off at 1:30 AM sharp Eastern Time here in the States with 1999 champ Paul Lawrie sending one down the 1st fairway.
As I type this there's a good handful of guys who have already finished their rounds, eaten their lunch, and moved on with their days. Yet we're still a couple hours away from Tiger Woods and others even hitting the course. Gotta love the Open in the northern UK where the summer days are long and the golf is plentiful.
The course is playing beautifully so far. It's firm and the wind is there but not wreaking too much havoc... yet. It's scoreable but there's plenty of danger out there too. That's what you like to see in a major championship. Here's what you missed...
Cameron Young Out Of The Gate Hot With A 64
Cameron Young is the guy out of the gates hot here early on Thursday. The casual sports/golf fan probably don't know his name, but they should probably get to know it starting now. He's a guy who has been on the front page of leaderboards all year despite not getting himself a W. He's got five Top 3 finishes and is the frontrunner for PGA Tour Rookie of the Year.
I'll say it's a little bit surprising to see him thrive here though. Links style golf is a learnt skill and this is his first Open. He missed the cut last week at the Scottish too. But the guy has the kind of length that can fill up red numbers quickly and he's doing that today. He's even left a few out there, 3-putting the par 5 14th from about 30 feet. He's taken advantage of an early tee time when the wind is down and now he'll get to sit back and see what these other guys can do in the afternoon.
Cameron Smith Posts A 67
People probably should've been talking about Cam a bit more going into this week. Everything about his game screams links golf and the Augusta-St. Andrews connection is always discussed when the Open is here. And god knows the guy is a beast at
Augusta. Guy can putt the lights out and flight it low, so maybe we should've expected this. As it stands, he's the 2nd-favorite to win the Claret Jug behind Rory…
Ian Poulter Got Booed On The 1st Tee
As I chronicled here.
To be fair, Poulter bounced back from that shaky (but harmless) 1st tee shot to post a 69, including an eagle on the type of putt you'd only see at an Open…
Rory McIlroy Is Cookin
Rory is out to a running start, just like his (only) other Open appearance at St. Andrews where he posted 63 as a 21-year-old. He poured in a 55-footer at 1 to get the hype train off and running REAL QUICK
He also sniped the stone on 5 in the middle of the fairway
He's bogey-free and -5 thru 12 as I go to publish (and I'll update this sporadically as his round concludes)….
UPDATE: Rory shot 66. Look out.
Old Heads Are Big Mad At Justin Thomas
Wrote about this earlier this morning. I love old golf farts losing their mind over new age golf. It's called fashion, losers.
Stanford Amateur Barclay Brown Posts a 68
Helluva day to remember for Barclay Brown today. English fella from Sheffield who just finished his junior year at Stanford and earned his way into this tournament by way of Open qualifiers. Most amateurs are here by winning some sort of Amateur championship. This guy "earned it in the dirt", as his fellow Cardinal (?) Tiger Woods likes to say.
Birdie on road hole is worth quite a bit when the field typically plays that hole a half shot over par
He's also throwing a little forward fashion out there. How often do you see the camo bucket out there?
Ernie Els was pouring em in early, birdieing the 1st 2 holes including this one from distance at #2.
If 53-year-old Paul Lawrie is hitting drives to 6 feet at the 18th, just imagine what the rest of these guys are gonna do today.
Joohyung Kim was among the guys posting a low number including this one from off the green at 15
Hideki swooped in a beauty on the par 3 8th.
Viktor Hovland had himself a pot bunker situation. God I love The Open.
And Phil Mickelson is going black on black on black on black as he continues his villain stage (and he actually shot a respectable even par!)
And here's a reel that @TheOpen was so kind to throw together, just as I was finishing posting all these individual clips.
So much golf left to be played today, including one Tiger Woods teeing off at 9:58 AM ET. I'll be here to cover it and over @BarstoolBanks all day and week….