2022 British Open rankings: Cameron Young, Rory McIlroy soar, while Tiger Woods sinks at St. Andrews

The 150th Open Championship kicked off in style on Thursday with those in the morning wave experiencing much tamer conditions compared to those in the afternoon. The man who was able to conquer the Old Course at St. Andrews most effective was PGA Tour rookie and Open debutant Cameron Young.

By signing an 8-under 64, Young will hope to follow in the footsteps of Collin Morikawa, who raised Claret Jug in his first appearance at The Open last season at the Royal St. George’s. Young was not the only competitor to take advantage of the minimal wins, as Rory McIlroy, Cameron Smith, Viktor Hovland and Xander Schauffele all short rounds in the red figures.

While getting off early on the Old Course got an advantageous arena, it did not stop the players in the afternoon from mapping their own strong laps. Dustin Johnson, Scottie Scheffler and Talor Gooch all signed for rounds of 4-under 68 and sit tied in fourth place ahead of a host of 3-under players including Bryson DeChambeau.

The wind is expected to remain relatively stable on Friday, but the direction it is blowing from will change in the late afternoon. This could offset the benefit that the morning wave received today as players will face a new variable on a golf course filled with them.

Here is the division of the leaderboard after the first round of the 150th Open.

2022 Open Championship leaderboard

1. Cameron Young (-8): It’s wild what just a few weeks can do to one’s perception of a player. The PGA Tour rookie has been fantastic this season, finishing in third place three times and finishing third at the PGA Championship, yet he came into this week after missing his last two cuts. He is long and straight from the tee and credits getting over to Scotland a week early as a reason for his success in the first round. When he hit all 18 greens in the regulation for the first time in his career, Young could not have chosen a better time to do so as he was flawless on his way to an 8-under 64.

“I think it’s a pretty accurate rendition of how I feel,” Young said of his less-than-enthusiastic demeanor. “I’m glad I shot 64. I’m glad that, as far as I know, I’m still leading The Open Championship, but that’s not going to change how I feel an hour from now. I mean, it may change how I feel a little on the 1st tee tomorrow, but I’ll forget it very quickly. “

Rory McIlroy (-6): The last time McIlroy played an Open at St. Andrews, he shot out of the gates to 9-under 63. This year, he shot 6-under 66 matching the effort in the first round from his Open triumph in 2014. The first round has not been the problem for the Northern Irishman by the majors this season; that’s rather what he’s done after opening 18. McIlroy came in this week as the betting favorite and remains at the top of the oddsboard despite being behind Young with a pair.

“Great start. Just the kind of thing you hope will happen when you start your week,” said the four-time major champion. “I did everything you need to do around St. Andrews. I birded the holes that are birdieable, and I made pars at the holes where you kind of seek to make a pair and move to the next tee. And [I] did not really put me too much out of position. Overall, really satisfied. It’s another good start to a major. Three in a row for me now. And look forward to the next few days. “

T3. Cameron Smith, Robert Dinwiddie (-5): The Australian has struggled with some regularity at the Masters, but outside of Augusta National, Smith has actually struggled in major championships. When he entered The Open after a top-10 finish at last week’s Scottish Open, Smith relied on past experience to drive him into battle. On a course where wedge play, creativity and team putting are rewarded, Smith should love his opportunities to advance.

“I just think about playing it a few more times, to be honest. I might think at the beginning of my professional career that I was trying to play too much of the right shot instead of just sticking to something. of what I know, “Smith said of his links golf learning curve. “I feel like I’m hitting several beats that are similar to what I wanted in the US, whereas before I thought it was necessary to try to hit it low because that’s what everyone said you should do. And I think with the bumps and depressions, it’s going to be pretty unpredictable and just something I’ve learned over the years. “

T5. Viktor Hovland, Dustin Johnson, Scottie Scheffler, Lee Westwood and four others (-4): Not once, but twice, Hovland found himself in a bunker without a position. Taking an unplayable in one case and throwing out sideways in the other, Hovland is able to come home and sign on a 4-under 68, wildly impressive. This is the type of golf we have been waiting for from the young Norwegian, as he has not really fought in a big championship yet. Knowing that this moment would inevitably come in his career, it still feels a bit surprising given his current form. Without a top-20 finish since the Players Championship, Hovland missed the cut at the Scottish Open last week despite hitting the ball well. He carried this skill into the opening round and it is now time to see if he can repeat it over the next 54 holes.

“Obviously it’s a little crazy right there and then, but you know it’s going to happen. I’m shooting a good shot. There’s not much you can do about it. It matters how you get out of that situation, “Hovland said of one of his bad breaks in the piles. “And I made a great pair, for example, on that hole today. Instead of letting it bother me too much, and then I try to go after a stupid blow to win back what I lost.”

T13. Bryson DeChambeau, Xander Schauffele and Joaquin Niemann and 11 others (-3): DeChambeau is certainly just as surprising, if not more so, than Hovland given his recent wrist injury and having not played a ton of competitive golf in 2022. But here he has a chance over the next three days in what would be a shocking victory despite knowing what his ceiling might be. As DeChambeau transformed himself from the mad scientist to the bomber, DeChambeau has turned the clock back and is effectively thinking about the Old Course. Even if it means that his biggest asset – his driver – has been taken out of his hands, he will be more than fine with it if the results become reality, as they did in round 1.

“I’m here to win a golf tournament and I’m trying to focus on how I get the best score in the best of four days,” DeChambeau said. “It’s actually pretty simple: Once we get out there, I say, ‘OK, it’s possible to drive, but the odds say you’re not going to hit it on the fairway every single time, and you get bad lies.’ And in some places, you just can’t do that. “

T35. Jordan Spieth, Louis Oosthizen, Hideki Matsuyama and 16 others (-1): Spieth appeared to be playing smart, risk-free golf in his opening round, bogey-free on the front with two birdies for respectable 34; however, his card got far busier on the back nine with three bogeys pushing him out of battle and into a spot from which he will be forced to climb Friday to fight at the weekend. Spieth has the creativity and ability to succeed at St. Andrews and he will have every opportunity to prove it across his second round.

T55. Justin Thomas, Phil Mickelson, Collin Morikawa, Shane Lowry and 18 others (E): It’s been a pretty quiet week since the Mickelson camp, when the 2013 Open champion chose to forgo the champions dinner and was left out of the limelight leading into the tournament. This may actually have done the six-time major winner something good as he delivered a respectable straight par 72, shortening three birdies against three bogeys. Despite playing sparingly in 2022, Mickelson still believes he will find his game over the next 54 holes.

“I had four months off. Obviously, when I came back, I wasn’t really sharp,” Mickelson said. “I thought I was playing a little bit better than I was. My game doesn’t feel far away at all. It just does not. I let a few strokes slip today, but for the most part I’m actually doing pretty well. like the parts, but I just have to put them together to make the whole thing. I actually think I have some good rounds in me. I think I’ll be playing really well the next few days. “

T146. Tiger Woods and three others (+6): Woods’ return to competition started as badly as one could imagine. After carding two double bogeys in his first seven holes, the triple Open champion was never able to recover and subsequently equalized for a round of 6-over 78. Overall, it was a disappointing day, but the 46-year-old can possibly get some consolation in how he competed at home nine as he got strokes on the field in each tee to green metric. Making the cut will be a difficult task as a round in the mid 60s will be required but all eyes will be on Woods.

“I just think the overall score,” Woods said when asked what disappointed him most from Thursday. “It feels like I did not really hit it that bad. Yes, I had bad speed on the greens, yes. But I did not really feel like I hit it so bad, but I ended up in bad places or just happened some strange and [that’s] just as it goes. Links golf is like that and this golf course is like that. And as I said, I had my chances to turn it around and get it rolling the right way, and I did not. “

Rick Gehman is joined by Kyle Porter and Patrick McDonald to sum up Thursday’s action at the Open Championship. Download and follow The Early Edge at Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

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