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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Monty grabs lead entering final round in season-opener

By Associated PressJanuary 20, 2018, 4:00 am

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii – Colin Montgomerie shot a second straight 7-under 65 to take a two-shot lead into the final round of the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

The 54-year-old Scot, a six-time winner on the over-50 tour, didn't miss a fairway on Friday and made five birdies on the back nine to reach 14 under at Hualalai.

Montgomerie has made 17 birdies through 36 holes and said he will have to continue cashing in on his opportunities.

''We know that I've got to score something similar to what I've done – 66, 67, something like that, at least,'' Montgomerie said. ''You know the competition out here is so strong that if you do play away from the pins, you'll get run over. It's tough, but hey, it's great.''

Full-field scores from the Mitsubishi Electric Championship

First-round co-leaders Gene Sauers and Jerry Kelly each shot 68 and were 12 under.

''I hit the ball really well. You know, all the putts that dropped yesterday didn't drop today,'' Kelly said. ''I was just short and burning edges. It was good putting again. They just didn't go in.''

David Toms was three shots back after a 66. Woody Austin, Mark Calcavecchia and Doug Garwood each shot 67 and were another shot behind.

Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was six shots back after a 67.

The limited-field tournament on Hawaii's Big Island includes last season's winners, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

''We've enjoyed ourselves thoroughly here,'' Montgomerie said. ''It's just a dramatic spot, isn't it? If you don't like this, well, I'm sorry, take a good look in the mirror, you know?''

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The missing link: Advice from successful tour pros

By Phil BlackmarJanuary 20, 2018, 1:24 am

Today’s topic is significant in that it underscores the direction golf is headed, a direction that has me a little concerned.

Now, more than ever, it has become the norm for PGA Tour players to put together a team to assist in all aspects of their career. These teams can typically include the player’s swing coach, mental coach, manager, workout specialist, dietician, physical therapist, short-game guru, doctor, accountant, nanny and wife. Though it often concerns me the player may be missing out when others are making decisions for them, that is not the topic.

I want to talk about what most players seem to be inexplicably leaving off their teams.

One of the things that separates great players from the rest of the pack – other than talent – is the great player’s ability to routinely stay comfortable and play with focus and clarity in all situations. Though innate to many, this skill is trainable and can be learned. Don’t get too excited, the details of such a plan are too long and more suited for a book than the short confines of this article.

So, if that aspect of the game is so important, where is the representative on the player’s team who has stood on the 18th tee with everything on the line? Where is the representative on the team who has experienced, over and over, what the player will be experiencing? In other words, where is the successful former tour player on the team?

You look to tennis and many players have such a person on their team. These teacher/mentors include the likes of Boris Becker, Ivan Lendl, Jimmy Connors and Brad Gilbert. Why is it not the norm in golf?

Sure, a few players have sought out the advice of Jack Nicklaus, but he’s not part of a team. The teaching ranks also include some former players like Butch Harmon and a few others. But how many teams include a player who has contended in a major, let alone won one or more?

I’m not here to argue the value and knowledge of all the other coaches who make up a player’s team. But how can the value of a successful tour professional be overlooked? If I’m going to ask someone what I should do in various situations on the course, I would prefer to include the experienced knowledge of players who have been there themselves.

This leads me to the second part of today’s message. Is there a need for the professional players to mix with professional teachers to deliver the best and most comprehensive teaching philosophy to average players? I feel there is.

Most lessons are concerned with changing the student’s swing. Often, this is done with little regard for how it feels to the student because the teacher believes the information is correct and more important than the “feels” of the student. “Stick with it until it’s comfortable” is often the message. This directive methodology was put on Twitter for public consumption a short time back:

On the other hand, the professional player is an expert at making a score and understands the intangible side of the game. The intangible side says: “Mechanics cannot stand alone in making a good player.” The intangible side understands “people feel things differently”; ask Jim Furyk to swing like Dustin Johnson, or vice versa. This means something that looks good to us may not feel right to someone else.

The intangible side lets us know that mechanics and feels must walk together in order for the player to succeed. From Ben Hogan’s book:

“What I have learned I have learned by laborious trial and error, watching a good player do something that looked right to me, stumbling across something that felt right to me, experimenting with that something to see if it helped or hindered, adopting it if it helped, refining it sometimes, discarding it if it didn’t help, sometimes discarding it later if it proved undependable in competition, experimenting continually with new ideas and old ideas and all manner of variations until I arrived at a set of fundamentals that appeared to me to be right because they accomplished a very definite purpose, a set of fundamentals which proved to me they were right because they stood up and produced under all kinds of pressure.”

Hogan beautifully described the learning process that could develop the swings of great players like DJ, Furyk, Lee Trevino, Jordan Spieth, Nicklaus, etc.

Bob Toski is still teaching. Steve Elkington is helping to bring us the insight of Jackie Burke. Hal Sutton has a beautiful teaching facility outside of Houston. And so on. Just like mechanics and feels, it’s not either-or – the best message comes from both teachers and players.

Lately, it seems the scale has swung more to one side; let us not forget the value of insights brought to us by the players who have best mastered the game.

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Woods, Rahm, Rickie, J-Day headline Torrey field

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 20, 2018, 12:47 am

Tiger Woods is set to make his 2018 debut.

Woods is still part of the final field list for next week’s Farmers Insurance Open, the headliner of a tournament that includes defending champion Jon Rahm, Hideki Matsuyama, Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler, Phil Mickelson and Jason Day.

In all, 12 of the top 26 players in the world are teeing it up at Torrey Pines.

Though Woods has won eight times at Torrey Pines, he hasn’t broken 71 in his past seven rounds there and hasn’t played all four rounds since 2013, when he won. Last year he missed the cut after rounds of 76-72, then lasted just one round in Dubai before he withdrew with back spasms.

After a fourth back surgery, Woods didn’t return to competition until last month’s Hero World Challenge, where he tied for ninth. 

Woods has committed to play both the Farmers Insurance Open and next month's Genesis Open at Riviera, which benefits his foundation. 

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Even on 'off' day, Rahm shoots 67 at CareerBuilder

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 20, 2018, 12:36 am

Jon Rahm didn’t strike the ball as purely Friday as he did during his opening round at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

He still managed a 5-under 67 that put him just one shot off the lead heading into the weekend.

“I expected myself to go to the range (this morning) and keep flushing everything like I did yesterday,” said Rahm, who shot a career-low 62 at La Quinta on Thursday. “Everything was just a little bit off. It was just one of those days.”

Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

After going bogey-free on Thursday, Rahm mixed four birdies and two bogeys over his opening six holes. He managed to settle down around the turn, then made two birdies on his final three holes to move within one shot of Andrew Landry (65).

Rahm has missed only five greens through two rounds and sits at 15-under 129. 

The 23-year-old Spaniard won in Dubai to end the year and opened 2018 with a runner-up finish at the Sentry Tournament of Champions. He needs a top-6 finish or better this week to supplant Jordan Spieth as the No. 2 player in the world.