Spieth The Open favorite after seizing share of lead in Round 1
- Author: Stacy Allen Jul 23, 2017,
Jul 23, 2017, 0:32
Jordan Spieth of the United States plays a shot on the 18th hole during the first round of the British Open Golf Championship, at Royal Birkdale, Southport, England Thursday, July 20, 2017. If the morning scoring is any indication, these conditions could produce some low scores this afternoon.
The conditions meant Spieth finished as one of barely more than a handful of players to break par today.
"It wasn't a great feeling knowing we were coming into something harder than what we were watching", he said.
"I give myself a B grade today which is giving myself some credit", Spieth told Sky Sports.
It might have been a four-way tie had San Diego's Charley Hoffman been able to hang on to his stellar round.
Spieth, world No.3 and twice major champion, putted smoothly to pick up five birdies and did not drop a shot after fierce crosswinds buffeted the early starters.
This was the first day and the leaderboard was as unpredictable as the weather. However, the last six times he has held a 36-hole lead, he has converted five. That's somewhat unusual for the British Open, where since 2010 every champion played in a tournament the week before.
"But the US Open it was everything but the putter".
The American said: "After my round I went to the range and hit a lot of drivers and hit a lot of good ones too".
Spieth said: "I got a little frustrated through the turn hitting it into pot bunker after pot bunker". My ball-striking has been better in any years that I've ever played golf.
"I was champing at the bit to get back, " he said. Kuchar's consistent success on the PGA Tour has not translated to high finishes in majors, but he looks poised to make some noise in England this week. "It started clearing up when we got to the first tee", said Els, a victor of this championship in 2002 and 2012.
Victor of both the Masters and US Open in 2015, Spieth had failed to break par in his last five opening rounds at a major before coming to the north-west English coast this week.
"It could be a lot more significant in three days' time than I would consider it right now", Spieth said. "I think that's extremely rare", added Spieth.
The performance of a fellow leader did catch his attention, however. But I thought we did a really good job once that horn blew and we had a few minutes to kind of sit back. He finished top-six in the French, Irish and Scottish Opens during the past three weeks, but he will have the weekend off if he can not fix his tee box woes - he hit just two of 14 fairways on Thursday.
"If I go out tomorrow under bad conditions and shoot something in the 60s, I feel like I'll be right there for the weekend".
Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy fall into that category. The 2014 British Open victor started Thursday with a tailspin and ended with a club spin. He had steadied the slide by that stage though, and managed to birdie the only two par 5s on the course, the 15th and 17th hole.
"Whatever", replied McIlroy, who had bogeyed four of his first five holes and was about to drop another shot at No. 6. The outcome was as bright as his chances of getting his name on another major championship trophy.