Turnberry: Early starters struggle
Perfect conditions today greeted the early starters in the 138th Open Championship at Turnberry today – but few took advantage.
Perfect conditions today greeted the early starters in the 138th Open Championship at Turnberry – but few were taking full advantage.
After an hour and a half of play in the opening round, only two players were under par and former US Open champion Michael Campbell propped up the field on three over par after just six holes.
England’s Oliver Wilson shared the lead on one under par with American Mark O’Meara, Wilson holing from 15 feet for birdie in the first 20 minutes after 1998 winner O’Meara had done so from similar range.
Former Ryder Cup player Paul Broadhurst had struck the opening tee shot at 6:30am in bright sunshine, with Japan’s Koumei Oda set to be the last man to start his round almost 10 hours later.
Australia’s Greg Norman, winner here in 1986 and third last year, was also among the early starters alongside American Kenny Perry, who was beaten in a play-off for the US Masters earlier this year after blowing a two-shot lead with two holes to play.
Norman was playing alongside Wilson and opened with a par on the 354-yard first hole.
World number one Tiger Woods, who was absent from Birkdale last year after undergoing knee surgery following his US Open win at Torrey Pines, was due out at 9:09am and was sure to attract massive attention from both the crowds and media.
Woods has been paired with England’s Lee Westwood – tipped by Ryder Cup colleague Ian Poulter to be a contender this week – and Japan’s Ryo Ishikawa, the teenage star who will also command a considerable media presence.
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