SANDWICH, England – The world’s best golfers are considered the best due to results and status and overall talent levels.
There’s something else that makes ‘em the best, though: Their ability to save rounds that otherwise could have been lost.
It happened on Thursday during the first round of The Open Championship, as every single player in the world’s top-six finished better than they were at one point during their rounds.
No. 1 - Luke Donald: Was 2-over, birdied the 17th hole to shoot 1-over 71.
No. 2 - Lee Westwood: Was 3-over, birdied four of his final 12 holes to 1-over 71.
No. 3 - Martin Kaymer: Was 1-under, birdied the 17th hole to shoot 2-under 68.
No. 4 - Rory McIlroy: Was 2-over through three, made two birdies to shoot 1-over 71.
No. 5 - Steve Stricker: Was 1-over at the turn, birdied two holes on back nine to shoot 1-under 69.
No. 6 - Phil Mickelson: Was 1-over early, birdied the 14th hole to shoot even-par 70.
And then there’s Graeme McDowell and Dustin Johnson.
After a double-bogey on the opening hole, G-Mac was 3-over through five, but posted six birdies to shoot 2-under 68.
That pales in comparison to DJ’s bounceback, as he was 4-over through 13, then went birdie-birdie, added a hole-in-one at 16, another birdie at 17 and finally a bogey on the final hole to finish with an even-par score of 70, with the day’s most interesting scorecard.