Open Championship tracker: Day 1 at St. Andrews

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 16, 2015, 8:00 am

The 144th Open Championship takes place this week at the Old Course in St. Andrews, Scotland. is tracking the men's third major of the season through on-site reporting and social media. For additional Open coverage, click here for full-field scores and click here for our Tiger Tracker. All-times for the Open Championship tracker are Eastern Daylight Time (EDT).

3:27PM: And ... that just about does it. Here's a final look at the leaderboard after Day 1. Still some players on the course but the top is set. Join us again tomorrow for wall-to-wall Open Championship action.

3:22PM: Shots fired!

3:17PM: So what's in store for us tomorrow? Anybody's guess.

3:00PM: Rickie Fowler starts with an even-par 72. Gets a "We love you Rickie!" from some female fans as he walks off the green despite being dressed like the Cookie Monster.

2:49PM: Phil Mickelson makes his kick-in birdie on 18 to close out a 2-under 70. Battled tough conditions all afternoon.

2:30PM: Is Tiger Woods done? Here's an interesting take:

2:22PM: Adam Scott birdies two his his last three holes and posts a 2-under 70. Could've had a worse birthday.

2:11PM: In case you missed it, Miguel Angel Jimenez opened with a 3-over 75 today. Which is a shame considering how he warmed up:

2:00PM: And a loud roar for Hiroyuki Fujita on 17 as he chips in for ... par.

1:52PM: Mark O'Meara's first competitive round as a World Golf Hall of Famer is an even-par 72

1:48PM: If you're looking at this Open leaderboard and wondering where you've seen it before, you're not alone.

1:37PM: World, meet Ashley Chesters. Kid is having himself a day, pushing Jordan Niebrugge for low am on Day 1.

1:32PM: So ... ZJ's kind of a big fan of Thursdays at the Open.

1:23PM: Zach Johnson birdies 18 for a 6-under 66 and sits one off the lead:

1:13PM: Quite the card from Calc:

1:02PM: Bernd Wiesberger's under there somewhere:

12:55PM: And not getting any easier as the wind picks up:

12:35PM: Fowler eagles the driveable par-4 10th to reach red figures:

12:27PM: Wind is really picking up, and Geoff Ogilvy drops back to 3 under after a bogey on 13 and a double on 14.

12:16PM: Solid opening nine for Justin Rose:

12:03PM: The group of Mickelson, Stenson and Kuchar all make the turn at 1 under par.

11:57AM: Zach Johnson is 6 under thru 14. And even better news, no boats with air cannons spotted on St. Andrews Bay.

11:44AM: Think we'd all sign up for a Spieth-DJ final pairing on Sunday.

11:41AM: More bad news for Tiger:

11:33AM: Adam Scott and Martin Kaymer, both -1 thru 9, not taking advantage of the easier opening nine. Scottish Open winner Rickie Fowler is even par thru 6.

11:27AM: Some quick analysis on Tiger's horrendous start:

11:17AM: After two straight birdies, Phil takes the aggressive approach off the tee at No. 6 with a driver, finds the large bushes right, takes an unplayable and makes bogey.

11:13AM: Justin Rose wasting no time getting into contention, with three birdies in the first five holes.

11:00AM: Your latest leaderboard update as we cross into the 11 o'clock hour here on the East Coast (4 o'clock local time in Scotland).

10:50AM: Peter Aliss on Jordan Spieth: "He's been 21 longer than my wife has been 39."
10:44AM: Nice to see Jason Day playing more good golf in a major. Even nicer not to be worrying about him the whole time:
10:34AM: Former Open champion John Daly, wearing this pair of pants, is 4 under today through 10 holes. Daly won at St. Andrews in 1995 and was T-15 at the Old Course in 2005.

10:24AM: Woods sits tied with 65-year-old Tom Watson in 133rd place at 4 over. Only two worse scores have been posted thus far in Round 1.
10:18AM: Stray quotes from Tiger's post-round news conference, which despite his struggles featured plenty of smiling:

"I fought hard, I just made so many mistakes today."

"It was just one of those mixed bags, one of those mixed bags today."

On the benign conditions and the bevy of low scores from the rest of the field: "Hopefully conditions will be tough tomorrow and I can put together a good round."

10:06AM: Paul Azinger, back for more:
10:02AM: Tiger Woods taps in for a 4-over 76, his worst round as a professional at St. Andrews.
9:52AM: Paul Lawrie makes par at the last for a first-round 6-under 66. Led with DJ at 7 under before a bogey on the Road Hole. As for what he's been up to since 1999, his best finish in an Open post-victory is a T-26 in 2013. He's missed the cut eight times. The 46-year-old's last career win came in 2012 at the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles. He won twice that year.
9:39AM: Dustin Johnson in the clubhouse tied for the lead at 7 under thanks to an opening 65. Spieth jarred a birdie try on the home hole to post even on the back and 5 under for the day.
9:33AM: Worth note, this film came out the year Tiger won his first major. The 1997 Open champion? Justin Leonard at 12-under 272 at Royal Troon.

Bonus points if you can remember the name of Kinnear's dog in the film. What's Helen Hunt up to nowadays?

9:23AM: Dustin Johnson has either completely forgotten about what happened at the U.S. Open, or he's been totally consumed by it and is on the warpath. Just rolled in a 20-footer at the Road Hole to stay 7 under.

9:20AM: The birthday boy is off and running and in the middle of the first fairway. Happy 35th:

One other birthday, Tom Gillis, who lost to Jordan Spieth last week at the John Deere Classic but parlayed his second-place finish into an Open invite, turns 47 today.

9:12AM: For those of you just waking up on the West Coast, Paul Lawrie is back! And so is Dustin Johnson.

9:05AM: Scott Van Pelt on the broadcast: "You want to feel old for a second? This is Sergio Garcia's 19th Open Championship." Yeah, that'll do it. Garcia, unfortunately, finds the Road Hole bunker and is unable to save par at 17 despite a lovely out. Back to 2 under today.

8:55AM: Curtis Strange, echoing Paul Azinger's thoughts on Tiger Woods from earlier: "He keeps saying he's getting in the right positions, making the right moves, but we haven't seen signs of improvement."

8:51AM: A disappointing finish for Bubba Watson, who played his first 14 holes a bogey-free 3 under, only to stumble at Nos. 15 and 17 and post an opening 71. Bubba was hole-high in two at the par-5 14th and made par. Two dropped shots followed.

8:39AM: The birdie is encouraging. The latter half of this tweet is not.

8:31AM: Paul Kinnear, a 21-year-old English amateur, birdied the par-3 11th to get to 6 under par, one off the lead.

8:29AM: Tom Watson shoots 4-over 76. He was 2 under par through 10, but had three double bogeys on the back nine.

8:23AM: Still waiting on the 15th tee box.

8:16AM: Got a back up on the back nine. DJ, Spieth and Matsuyama are standing on the par-4 15th, waiting to play. Lots of people standing around right now.

8:12AM: Dustin Johnson has regained a share of the lead with a birdie at the par-5 14th. Jordan Spieth made par and is now two back. Regarding Spieth's par ...

8:05AM: Here's where things stand as we cross the 8AM ET hour.

8:01AM: Paul Lawrie, yes, Paul Lawrie from the infamous 1999 Open Championship is your leader. He just birdied No. 13 to reach 7 under.

7:53AM: Tiger Woods' struggles continue. He made par on the 12th, but it wasn't pretty.

7:51AM: Jordan Spieth finds a coffin bunker off the tee at 13 and makes bogey, his first of the tournament. He's back to 5 under, one off the lead.

7:47AM: Luke Donald is trying to close a strong opening round. Here's how he saved par from the Road Hole bunker to remain at 4 under.

7:38AM: Retief Goosen is a co-leader. The two-time U.S. Open champion, who had to qualify for both Opens this year, shoots 6-under 66.

7:35AM: Kevin Na reaches the clubhouse at 5 under par after an opening 67.

7:30AM: Not among those under par? Tiger Woods. Another bogey has him down to 5 over ... but it's not all bad.

7:24AM: Jason Day is back in the major mix. He birdies the 10th to reach 4 under. Fifty-seven players are currently under par.

7:21AM: Here's how Spieth grabbed a share of the lead on Day 1.

7:15AM: Add Jordan Spieth to the top of the leaderboard. He birdies the 11th to tie Dustin Johnson and Robert Streb at 6 under.

7:13AM: Amateur Jordan Niebrugge birdies the 18th for a 5-under 67. Niebrugge plays college golf at Oklahoma State.

7:10AM: That's a front-nine 40 for Tiger Woods.

7:03AM: Dustin Johnson is a co-leader. He just birdied the 10th to reach 6 under and tie Robert Streb (66) for the top spot. Jordan Spieth is one back.

7:01AM: David Lingmerth turned in 29, and then came home in 40 for an opening 3-under 69.

6:55AM: What does it take to win majors? This year it's birdies. Lots of birdies. And Spieth has made more than anyone, writes Gil Capps.

6:50AM: Jordan Spieth and Dustin Johnson both turned in 5-under 31. Both are one off the lead.

6:43AM: Tiger's round is rubbish. That's how Scots describe it.

6:39AM: Robert Streb leads the way at 6 under, but here's a look at some guys just three back.Have you heard of any of these guys?

6:35AM: In the clubhouse: Greg Owen with a 4-under 68. On the opposite side of things, Rod Pampling with a 5-over 77.

6:30AM: Amateur hour. 22-year-old Irish amateur Paul Dunne posted 3-under 69 in his first round.

6:23AM: No words needed.

6:20AM: After the tap-in birdie at No. 7, make that 51 of 151.

6:18AM: I can't even. Spieth just stuck it to 2 feet for birdie on No. 7. I. Just. Can't.

6:14AM: And now for your Tiger Hacker update. Oh, sorry. Tiger Tracker update:

6:12AM: Ladies and gentlemen, may I present you with the 144th Open Championship leader, Robert Streb:

6:08AM: That's four birdies in six holes for Jordan Spieth. He's 4 under (so is Dustin Johnson, by the way) and two shots off leader Robert Streb. (And no, "leader Robert Streb" was not a typo.)

6:03AM: Yes. It really is this exciting.

5:53AM: Raise your hand if you want to see a Jordan Spieth-Dustin Johnson final pairing on Sunday.

5:37AM: Former world No. 1 Luke Donald playing well in his bid for major No. 1:

5:36AM: Correction. Make that Open co-leader, as David Lingmerth just made bogey at 14 to fall to 5 under, tied with Robert Streb.

5:34AM: Todd Lewis with a nugget on your early Open leader, David Lingmerth:

5:21AM: Big cat goes bogey-bogey to start. Trails leader David Lingmerth (6 under through 13) by eight.

5:15AM: Meanwhile, Tiger is playing the Old Course as if he's never seen it before.

5:12AM: Kids these days. 22-year-old amateur and friend of Spieth, Ollie Schniederjans is 3 under through 7.

5:08AM: TBD on the GOAT ... but P. Reed definitely top 5 ever.

5:05AM: Pin locations for the first round of the 144th Open Championship:

5:03AM: Here's a live look at the current leaderboard at the 144th Open Championship:

5:01AM: Think Tiger needs some creme for that burn? From the middle of the fairway, Woods dumps his approach into No. 1 into the burn.

4:58AM: That's two in a row for Spieth. I repeat: That's two birdies in a row for Spieth who is now 2 under through two.

4:55AM: Tiger Woods is off! ... In his bid for major No. 15. And he found the fairway at 1.

4:52AM: 28. That's the number of players currently under par at the Open Championship.

4:46AM: For those visual learners out there, may we present this:

4:43AM: We'll take 71 more of those, please. It's a birdie for Jordan Spieth at the first. Matsuyama also makes birdie; DJ in with a par.

4:40AM: These guys mean business. Spieth, DJ and Hideki Matsuyama all stick it close on the first hole. Have solid birdie looks.

4:35AM: And DJ is in search of his first major championship, paired with Spieth the first two rounds.

4:33AM: Jordan Spieth is off and running in his bid to win three consecutive major championships.

4:29AM: Note the time. At 4:29 we're telling you just how impressive that 29 was:

4:17AM: On the list of things no one saw coming: David Lingmerth opened the Open Championship in 29.

4:00AM: Good morning from St. Andrews!

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Teenager Im wins season opener

By Will GrayJanuary 16, 2018, 10:23 pm

South Korea's Sungjae Im cruised to a four-shot victory at The Bahamas Great Exuma Classic, becoming just the second teenager to win an event on the Tour.

Im started the final day of the season-opening event in a share of the lead but still with six holes left in his third round. He was one shot behind Carlos Ortiz when the final round began, but moved ahead of the former Player of the Year thanks to a 7-under 65 in rainy and windy conditions. Im's 13-under total left him four clear of Ortiz and five shots ahead of a quartet of players in third.

Still more than two months shy of his 20th birthday, Im joins Jason Day as the only two teens to win on the developmental circuit. Day was 19 years, 7 months and 26 days old when he captured the 2007 Legend Financial Group Classic.

Recent PGA Tour winners Si Woo Kim and Patrick Cantlay and former NCAA champ Aaron Wise all won their first Tour event at age 20.

Other notable finishes in the event included Max Homa (T-7), Erik Compton (T-13), Curtis Luck (T-13) and Lee McCoy (T-13). The Tour will remain in the Bahamas for another week, with opening round of The Bahamas Great Abaco Classic set to begin Sunday.

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Mickelson grouped with Z. Johnson at CareerBuilder

By Will GrayJanuary 16, 2018, 8:28 pm

He's not the highest-ranked player in this week's field, but Phil Mickelson will likely draw the biggest crowd at the CareerBuilder Challenge as he makes his first start of 2018. Here are a few early-round, marquee groupings to watch as players battle the three-course rotation in the Californian desert (all times ET):

12:10 p.m. Thursday, 11:40 a.m. Friday, 1:20 p.m. Saturday: Phil Mickelson, Zach Johnson

Mickelson is making his fourth straight trip to Palm Springs, having cracked the top 25 each of the last three times. In addition to their respective amateur partners, he'll play the first three rounds alongside a fellow Masters champ in Johnson, who tied for 14th last week in Hawaii and finished third in this event in 2014.

11:40 a.m. Thursday, 1:20 p.m. Friday, 12:50 p.m. Saturday: Jon Rahm, Bubba Watson

At No. 3 in the world, Rahm is the highest-ranked player teeing it up this week and the Spaniard returns to an event where he finished T-34 last year in his tournament debut. He'll play the first two rounds alongside Watson, who is looking to bounce back from a difficult 2016-17 season and failed to crack the top 50 in two starts in the fall.

11:40 a.m. Thursday, 1:20 p.m. Friday, 12:50 p.m. Saturday: Patrick Reed, Brandt Snedeker

Reed made the first big splash of his career at this event in 2014, shooting three straight rounds of 63 en route to his maiden victory. He'll be joined by Snedeker, whose bid for a Masters bid via the top 50 of the world rankings came up short last month and who hasn't played this event since a missed cut in 2015.

1:10 p.m. Thursday, 12:40 p.m. Friday, 12:10 p.m. Saturday: Patton Kizzire, Bill Haas

Kizzire heads east after a whirlwind Sunday ended with his second win of the season in a six-hole playoff over James Hahn in Honolulu. He'll play alongside Haas, who won this event in both 2010 and 2015 to go with a runner-up finish in 2011 and remains the tournament's all-time leading money winner.

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Mackay still a caddie at heart, even with a microphone

By Doug FergusonJanuary 16, 2018, 7:34 pm

HONOLULU – All it took was one week back on the bag to remind Jim ''Bones'' Mackay what he always loved about being a caddie.

It just wasn't enough for this to be the ultimate mic drop.

Mackay traded in his TV microphone at the Sony Open for the 40-pound bag belonging to Justin Thomas.

It was his first time caddying since he split with Phil Mickelson six months ago. Mackay was only a temporary replacement at Waialae for Jimmy Johnson, a good friend and Thomas' regular caddie who has a nasty case of plantar fasciitis that will keep him in a walking boot for the next month.

''The toughest thing about not caddying is missing the competition, not having a dog in the fight,'' Mackay said before the final round. ''There's nothing more rewarding as a caddie, in general terms, when you say, 'I don't like 6-iron, I like 7,' and being right. I miss that part of it.''

The reward now?

''Not stumbling over my words,'' he said. ''And being better than I was the previous week.''

He has done remarkably well since he started his new job at the British Open last summer, except for that time he momentarily forgot his role. Parts of that famous caddie adage – ''Show up, keep up, shut up'' – apparently can apply to golf analysts on the ground.

During the early hours of the telecast, before Johnny Miller came on, Justin Leonard was in the booth.

''It's my job to report on what I see. It's not my job to ask questions,'' Mackay said. ''I forgot that for a minute.''

Leonard was part of a booth discussion on how a comfortable pairing can help players trying to win a major. That prompted Mackay to ask Leonard if he found it helpful at the 1997 British Open when he was trying to win his first major and was paired with Fred Couples in the final round at Royal Troon.

''What I didn't know is we were going to commercial in six seconds,'' Mackay said. ''I would have no way of knowing that, but I completely hung Justin out to dry. He's now got four seconds to answer my long-winded question.''

During the commercial break, the next voice Mackay heard belonged to Tommy Roy, the executive golf producer at NBC.

''Bones, don't ever do that again.''

It was Roy who recognized the value experienced caddies could bring to a telecast. That's why he invited Mackay and John Wood, the caddie for Matt Kuchar, into the control room at the 2015 Houston Open so they could see how it all worked and how uncomfortable it can be to hear directions coming through an earpiece.

Both worked as on-course reporters at Sea Island that fall.

And when Mickelson and Mackay parted ways after 25 years, Roy scooped up the longtime caddie for TV.

It's common for players to move into broadcasting. Far more unusual is for a caddie to be part of the mix. Mackay loves his new job. Mostly, he loves how it has helped elevate his profession after so many years of caddies being looked upon more unfavorably than they are now.

''I want to be a caddie that's doing TV,'' he said. ''That's what I hope to come across as. The guys think this is good for caddies. And if it's good for caddies, that makes me happy. Because I'm a caddie. I'll always be a caddie.''

Not next week at Torrey Pines, where Mickelson won three times. Not a week later in Phoenix, where Mackay lives. Both events belong to CBS.

And not the Masters.

He hasn't missed Augusta since 1994, when Mickelson broke his leg skiing that winter.

''That killed me,'' he said, ''but not nearly as much as it's going to kill me this year. I'll wake up on Thursday of the Masters and I'll be really grumpy. I'll probably avoid television at all costs until the 10th tee Sunday. And I'll watch. But it will be, within reason, the hardest day of my life.''

There are too many memories, dating to when he was in the gallery right of the 11th green in 1987 when Larry Mize chipped in to beat Greg Norman. He caddied for Mize for two years, and then Scott Simpson in 1992, and Mickelson the rest of the way. He was on the bag for Lefty's three green jackets.

Mackay still doesn't talk much about what led them to part ways, except to say that a player-caddie relationship runs its course.

''If you lose that positive dynamic, there's no point in continuing,'' he said. ''It can be gone in six months or a year or five years. In our case, it took 25 years.''

He says a dozen or so players called when they split up, and the phone call most intriguing was from Roy at NBC.

''I thought I'd caddie until I dropped,'' Mackay said.

He never imagined getting yardages and lining up putts for anyone except the golfer whose bag he was carrying. Now it's for an audience that measures in the millions. Mackay doesn't look at it as a second career. And he won't rule out caddying again.

''It will always be tempting,'' he said. ''I'll always consider myself a caddie. Right now, I'm very lucky and grateful to have the job I do.''

Except for that first week in April.

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The Social: The end was nigh, then it wasn't

By Jason CrookJanuary 16, 2018, 7:00 pm

The star power at the Sony Open may have been overshadowed by a missile scare, but there were plenty of other social media stories that kept the golf world on its toes this week, including some insight on Tiger Woods from a round with President Obama and some failed trick shots.

All that and more in this week's edition of The Social.

By now you've undoubtedly heard about the false alarm in Hawaii on Saturday, where just about everyone, including most Sony Open participants, woke up to an emergency cell phone alert that there was a ballistic missile heading toward the islands.

Hawaiian emergency management officials eventually admitted the original message was mistakenly sent out, but before they did, people (understandably) freaked out.

As the situation unfolded, some Tour pros took to social media to express their confusion and to let the Twittersphere know how they planned on riding out this threat:

While I would've been in that bathtub under the mattress with John Peterson, his wife, baby and in-laws (wait, how big is this tub?), here's how Justin Thomas reacted to the threat of impending doom:

Yeah, you heard that right.

“I was like ‘there’s nothing I can do,'” Thomas said. ”I sat on my couch and opened up the sliding door and watched TV and listened to music. I was like, if it’s my time, it’s my time.”

Hmmm ... can we just go ahead and award him all the 2018 majors right now? Because if Thomas is staring down death in mid-January, you gotta like the kid's chances on the back nine Sunday at Augusta and beyond.

Before the Hawaiian Missile Crisis of 2018, things were going about as well as they could at Waialae Country Club, starting with the Wednesday pro-am.

Jordan Spieth might have been the third-biggest star in his own group, after getting paired with superstar singer/songwriter/actor Nick Jonas and model/actress Kelly Rohrbach.

You'd be hard-pressed to find a more photogenic group out on the course, and the "Baywatch" star has a gorgeous swing as well, which makes sense, considering she was a former collegiate golfer at Georgetown.

As impressive as that group was, they were somehow outshined by an amateur in another group, former NFL coach June Jones.

Jones, who now coaches the CFL's Hamilton Tiger-Cats, played his round in bare feet and putted with his 5-iron, a remedy he came up with to battle the yips.

Former NFL and current CFL coach June Jones: A master of 5-iron putting?

A post shared by PGA TOUR (@pgatour) on

Considering he made back-to-back birdies at one point during the day, it's safe to say he's won that battle.

With Tiger Woods' return to the PGA Tour about a week away, that sound you hear is the hype train motoring full speed down the tracks.

First, his ex-girlfriend Lindsey Vonn told Sports Illustrated that she hopes this comeback works out for him.

“I loved him and we’re still friends. Sometimes, I wish he would have listened to me a little more, but he’s very stubborn and he likes to go his own way," the Olympic skiier said. "I hope this latest comeback sticks. I hope he goes back to winning tournaments.”

Vonn also mentioned she thinks Woods is very stubborn and that he didn't listen to her enough. That really shouldn't shock anyone who watched him win the 2008 U.S. Open on one leg. Don't think there were a lot of people in his ear telling him that was a great idea at the time.

We also have this report from Golf Channel Insider Tim Rosaforte, stating that the 14-time major champ recently played a round with former president Barack Obama at The Floridian in Palm City, Fla., where he received rave reviews from instructor Claude Harmon.

The Farmers Insurance Open is sure to be must-see TV, but until then, I'm here for all of the rampant speculation and guesses as to how things will go. The more takes the better. Make them extra spicy, please and thanks.

These poor New Orleans Saints fans. Guess the only thing you can do is throw your 65-inch TV off the balcony and get 'em next year.

Here's two more just for good measure.

Farts ... will they ever not be funny?

Perhaps someday, but that day was not early last week, when Tommy Fleetwood let one rip on his European teammates during EurAsia Cup team photos.

Fleetwood went 3-0-0 in the event, helping Europe to a victory over Asia, perhaps by distracting his opponents with the aid of his secret weapon.

Also, how about the diabolical question, "Did you get that?"

Yeah Tommy, we all got that.

Ahhh ... golf trick shot videos. You were fun while you lasted.

But now we’ve officially come to the point in their existence where an unsuccessful attempt is much more entertaining than a properly executed shot, and right on cue, a couple of pros delivered some epic fails.

We start with Sony Open runner-up James Hahn’s preparation for the event, where for some reason he thought he needed to practice a running, jumping, Happy Gilmore-esque shot from the lip of a bunker. It didn’t exactly work out.

Not to be outdone, Ladies European Tour pro Carly Booth attempted the juggling-drive-it-out-of-midair shot made famous by the Bryan Bros, and from the looks of things she might have caught it a little close to the hosel.

PSA to trick-shot artists everywhere: For the sake of the viewing public, if you feel a miss coming on, please make sure the camera is rolling.

Seriously, though, who cares? Definitely not these guys and gals, who took the time to comment, "who cares?" They definitely do not care.