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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No indication when Trump Turnberry will next host an Open

By Jay CoffinJuly 18, 2018, 12:25 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Turnberry last hosted The Open in 2009, during that magical week where Tom Watson, at age 59, nearly won his sixth claret jug. Ultimately, Stewart Cink won in a playoff.

While Turnberry remains on The Open rota, according to the R&A, there is no clear understanding of when the club, purchased by Donald Trump in 2014 before he became President of the United States, will next host the championship. The next open date is 2022

“With respect to 2022, I’ve already said, ’21 we’re going to be celebrating the 150th playing of The Open at St. Andrews,” R&A chief executive Marin Slumbers said Wednesday on the annual news conference on the eve of The Open. “And in ’22, we’ll be going south of the border.”

Full-field tee times from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

South of the border means the 2022 Open will be at one of the three venues in England. Since the 2020 Open is at Royal St. George’s, that leaves Royal Lytham & St. Annes and Royal Liverpool as the two remaining options. Since Lytham (2012, Ernie Els) last hosted the Open before Liverpool (2014, Rory McIlroy), that’s the likely choice.

Trump was at Turnberry for two days last weekend, 150 miles southwest of Carnoustie. The R&A said it did not receive any communication from the U.S. president while he was in the country.

Turnberry hosted the Women’s British Open in 2015. Inbee Park beat Jin-young Park by three shots.

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Slumbers explains driver test; Rory weighs in

By Rex HoggardJuly 18, 2018, 12:18 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Players and manufacturers were informed about three weeks ago that the R&A intended to test individual drivers at this week’s Open Championship, marking the first time the rule makers have taken the current standards to players.

Although the R&A and USGA have been COR (coefficient of restitution) tests on drivers for some time, they have been pulling the tested clubs from manufacturers, not players.

“We take our governance role very seriously, not just on the Rules of Golf and amateur status, but also equipment standards, and we felt it was an appropriate next step to more actively seek to test players' drivers straight out of the bag,” said Martin Slumbers, the R&A’s chief executive.

Thirty players were notified their drivers would be tested this week - including Paul Casey, Brooks Koepka, Jason Day and Henrik Stenson - from a list that roughly mirrored the breakdown of various brands based on current equipment counts.

Full-field tee times from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

The R&A test center was set up on the Carnoustie practice range, and according to Slumbers there were no violations of the testing limits, which essentially measure the spring-like effect of the driver clubface.

Although none of the drivers failed the testing, Rory McIlroy did say that TaylorMade was “singled out a bit more than anyone else.”

“A manufacturer is always going to try and find ways to get around what the regulations are. It's a bit of an arms race,” said McIlroy, who plays TaylorMade equipment but said his driver was not tested. “If there is some drivers out there that have went a little bit over the limit, then obviously guys shouldn't be playing them. I think the manufacturers are smart enough to know not to try to push it too much.”

There was no individual driver testing at last month’s U.S. Open, and it’s not expected to become the norm on the PGA Tour, but Slumbers did say the R&A tested drivers at an event earlier this year on the Japan Golf Tour.

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Carnoustie open to any number of scenarios

By Rex HoggardJuly 18, 2018, 12:07 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Carnoustie holds a distinct position within the Open Championship’s rotation of storied venues. It’s come by its nickname, Car-Nasty, honestly as the undisputed rough-and-tumble heavyweight of all the championship links.

Historically, Carnoustie is a beast. A punch in the mouth compared to the other stops on The Open dance card. If the likes of the Old Course and Muirfield are the fair ladies of the rotation, the Angus Coast brute would be the unfriendly bouncer.

As personas go, Carnoustie wears its reputation well, but the 147th edition of the game’s oldest championship has taken on a new look this week. It’s not so much the softer side of Carnoustie as it is a testament to the set up philosophy of the R&A.

Unlike its sister association in the United States, the R&A allows Mother Nature to decide what kind of test a championship will present and this Open is shaping up to be something far different than what the golf world is accustomed.

Instead of the thick, lush rough that ringed the fairways in 1999 and 2007, the last two stops at the par-71 layout, this year has a dust bowl feel to it. The stories have already become legend: Padraig Harrington hit a 457-yard drive on the 18th hole during a practice round that bounced and bounded into Barry Burn and on Monday Tiger Woods slashed a 333-yard 3-iron down the same power alley.

“It’s so fast. It’s nothing like ’99 – that was like a jungle. It was wet, rough was up, there was wind. In 2007, it was cold and green,” said Ernie Els, who has played two championships at Carnoustie. “But this is very, very dry. Very different.”

Full-field tee times from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

Anywhere else these divergent conditions would simply be the nature of the game’s most hands-off major, but at Carnoustie it’s created an information vacuum and wild uncertainty.

Within a 48-hour window, two of the championship’s easy favorites offered diametrically contrasting philosophies on how they might play Carnoustie.

“There's eight or nine drivers we hit. Depending on the wind direction, we could hit more,” said Brooks Koepka, who won his second consecutive U.S. Open last month. “It's so burnt out, where there's a lot of opportunity where the rough's not quite as thick as I expected it to be.”

That was in contrast to how Jordan Spieth, this week’s defending champion, was thinking he would play the course.

“I talked to [caddie Michael Greller] a little bit about what he thinks, and he said, ‘You might hit a lot of 5-irons off the tee, you might wear out 5- and 4-irons off the tee instead of hitting 3- or 2-irons like you're used to,’” Spieth said.

Unlike previous championships that were played at Carnoustie, which were won by the player best prepared to take a punch, this one might come down to which strategy, controlled and calculated or bold and brash, works best.

In theory, the bombers seem to be on to something, primarily as a result of the dry conditions that have produced uncharacteristically thin and playable rough. The alternative is weaving irons in between the countless bunkers that pepper each fairway, which on links courses are widely considered true hazards compared to what players face at other major venues.

“I would definitely say it is a bomber’s course,” said Gary Woodland, who counts himself among the long-hitting set. “A lot of the bunkers here are 285, 290 [yards] to cover, for us that’s nothing. You can take them out of play, which normally isn’t the case because it’s windy and rainy over here.”

That line of thinking leads to a rather narrow list of potential contenders, from betting favorite Dustin Johnson to Rory McIlroy and Koepka. But that logic ignores the inherent unpredictability of The Open, where countless contenders have been undercut by the rub of a bad draw and the always-present danger of inclement weather.

Although this week’s forecast calls for continued dry weather, winds are currently forecast to reach 25 mph on Sunday which could upend game plans, regardless of how aggressive or conservative one intended to play the course.

Despite conventional thinking and the realities of a modern game that is being dominated more and more by long hitters, there are compelling arguments for the other side of the bash-or-bunt debate.

One needs to look no further than Woods’ record on similarly dusty tracks as an example of how a conservative approach can produce championship results. In 2006 at Royal Liverpool, Woods, who is playing his first Open since 2015, famously hit just one driver all week on his way to victory, and he was just as effective in 2000 at St. Andrews when the Old Course also played to a bouncy brown.

“It could be that way,” Woods said when asked to compare ’06 at Hoylake to this week. “Either case, I'm not going to hit that many long clubs off the tees.”

Adding to that uncertainty is Carnoustie’s track record in producing late drama on Sunday. This is, after all, the same slice of coast where Jean Van de Velde stepped to the 18th tee box with a three-stroke lead in 1999 only to slash his way to a closing triple-bogey 7 and the game’s most memorable, or regrettable, runner-up showing.

In ’07, the heartbreak went extra frames for Sergio Garcia, who appeared poised to win his first major championship before he bogeyed the last hole and lost a playoff to Harrington.

Even this week’s baked-out conditions can’t mitigate the importance and challenge of what many consider the most difficult Grand Slam finish; but the yellow hue has certainly created an added degree of uncertainty to an already unpredictable championship.

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Slumbers: Mickelson penalty 'not good for the game'

By Ryan LavnerJuly 18, 2018, 11:44 am

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – R&A chief executive Martin Slumbers said that Phil Mickelson’s controversial penalty at the U.S. Open was not “good for the game,” but he did not say explicitly whether the ruling would have been any different at The Open.

Speaking Wednesday at his annual address, Slumbers said that he spoke with Mickelson last week about the incident. At Shinnecock Hills, Mickelson hit a moving ball in the third round but was not disqualified for a breach of etiquette. Instead, he received a two-shot penalty under Rule 14-5.

Full-field tee times from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

“In the event of a similar situation this week, clearly, the first thing is you understand the facts because you never get the same situation and there will be lots of reasons,” Slumbers said. “But we have looked very carefully at the rules, and I don’t think it was good for the game and not the right way to have played this wonderful sport, and we would make a decision based on the facts of any incident that happened later in the week.”

Rule 1-2, which includes a clause for disqualification, was not used because the infraction is covered under another rule.

“Let’s also remember that it’s a moot point for next year,” Slumbers said, “because as of the first of January 2019, there would have been a DQ option in that equivalent rule.”