Unlike Paul McGinley, Nick Faldo believes today’s pins are “hidden a yard closer” than yesterday.
I just gathered the numbers and the field is 15-over so far today. It’s not that easy!
You will do well to find many player stats from yesterday, but there are some wise people who record them.
Datagolf has all the R1 Strokes Gained numbers, so what were the strengths (or weaknesses) of Rory McIlroy‘s match in his 6-under 66 yesterday?
Here’s how he ranked [in a field of 156] in the different statistical categories:
Off The Tee: 7
Around The Green: 29
Tee for green: 8
Strong in most areas, but perhaps these approach figures are a small concern. Rory may need to tighten up his iron game a bit.
England’s Marcus Armitage continues his rise up the rankings and a birdie of 9 takes him out at 3-under 33. Now -4, he is up at number six, a jump of 29 places on the day. Is he the incarnation of Steven Bottomley from 1995 to 2022?
Dustin Johnson balances the books with a birdie of 3 that obliterates his initial bogey. He is also at -4, four behind Cameron Young.
Will the softer conditions lead to the insanely low scoring it was predicted earlier this week?
That is the opinion of former European Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley.
However, the locals are not so convinced. Matt just sent me this:
“On my first night when I was sitting outside the Jigger Inn with a pint, an old boy who plays golf in town (and is very good) said, ‘They want to defend the course with the pin positions. They will be tighter than we have ever seen here before. ”
The current BBC weather forecast suggests that the rain will subside and wind speeds will not exceed 11 mph. A bit of sun can shine through around noon. 16.00, but otherwise it is cloudy. Actually a little fog at the moment.
Tiger Woods dropped to a six-over 78 in the first round, the pain lasted for six hours and 18 minutes. He finally spoke to the press at 21.25. Here’s what he had to say after shooting the joint highest opening round of his Open career.
Overall thoughts: “Well, probably the highest score I could have shot. Did not get a good start. Hit a good tee shot down 1, ended right in the middle of a fresh divot. And I hit a good shot. Gust hit it and ended in the combustion.
“So I think I had maybe four or five 3-puts today. Was just not very good at greens. And every putt I left short. I struggled to hit the putts hard enough. They looked faster than they set and I struggled with that.
About his physical problems: “It was a lot easier today, physically, than it has been the other two events (Masters and US PGA), for sure.”
About the fast, fixed conditions: “We played Liverpool (Hoylake 2006) like that. But it was just different. Liverpool do not have the number of slopes that St. Andrews has. Fairways are flatter. So of course the ball has more control on the ground. Here you really do not have that much control. They were fast.
About trying to make the cut: “It looks like I’ll have to shoot 66 tomorrow to have a chance. So obviously it has been done. Guys did it today. And it’s my responsibility tomorrow to go ahead and do that. Must do it.”
Tiger starts in round two at 9.58.
With the rain starting to fall a little strongeras indicated by Tyrrell Hatton calling on the umbrella, let’s get an early scoring on the doors.
-8: Young (-)
-6: Gooch (4), McIlroy (-)
-5: Smith (-), Dinwiddie (-)
-4: SW Kim (5), Brown (-), Kitayama (-), Westwood (-), Kennedy (-), Hovland (-)
The hidden front stick on the 1st still catches a few.
Haotong Li got a triple bogey seven after his first approach pinged back from Swilcan Burn, and his second landed directly in it! Aussie Marc Leishman also found the wet stuff and took six.
Scottie Scheffler managed it, but perhaps too comfortably. Far from the hole, he needed three putts to get down, so it’s an opening bogey. Back to -3 even though he has shot a nice tee shot from 2.
As the game seemed to get slower and slower yesterday and groups backed up on tees and fairways, it seemed unlikely that the latter groups would complete in time.
They did – just – and it was 22.10 when England’s Robert Dinwiddie filled the final hole to finish 67th and share third place. So a long day ahead!
Speaking of Englishmen, Marcus Armitage has just rolled a birdie putt from about 15 feet in 6th place. Back-to-back pair of breakers and he’s up for a draw 13.
The big names come thick and fast, and here goes world No. 1 Scottie Scheffler.
A low iron down the 1st fairway accompanied by his trademark foot slides through the shock and the American is on his way.
Up by the green, a three-putt bogey for Dustin Johnson. DJ drops back to -3, now one back from Scheffler and five behind leader Cameron Young.
Others who have gone further below par this morning are Ryan Fox and Marcus Armitage.
Kiwi Fox, son of rugby union legend Grant, has broken a seven-pair race with a birdie of 8, while England’s Armitage has a scorecard showing 4-4-4-4-4. That equates to four pars and a birdie on the long 5. Both have moved up to -2, right now in 26th place.
R&A must be afraid that a LIV golfer will win their historic 150th Open Championship. Dustin Johnson, a double major champion, is probably the biggest threat to that, let’s say, nightmare scenario, and he has just struck an iron down the huge fairway.
With less wind and a slightly softer track, it will suit Johnson, who starts day four from the lead at -4.
Or maybe Talor Gooch will be the man to induce full twist when he rolls in a 10-foot at the 3rd hole to give him another birdie for the day. Gooch joins McIlroy as number two at -6.
Matt Cooper, who shares blog assignments with me this week, is live on St. Andrews. Then set the stage, Matt. What is the weather doing? How are the course conditions?
“Feels comfortable this morning. Streets wet on the walk to town. Not so wet that you definitely need waterproof. Not much wind.
“Not enough rain to really change the dynamics. Just to offer the field a little help.”
Some early moves on the leaderboard from Talor Gooch and Si Woo Kim. American Gooch, who switched to LIV last month, hit the birdie hole at 1st to jump up to -5, and that’s good enough to be number three.
Kim, a former winner of The Players Championship, also birded the opener to reach -4 and has stayed there with a few pars.
Pin positions for round two. More tucking is going on.
Okay, let’s go on day two. And to get you in the mood … this. Fun fact: composer Brian Bennett was the drummer in The Shadows.
Good morning from the 150th open championship! It’s day two at St. Andrews, and the early starters have waterproofed due to a little morning rain.
Rory McIlroy shot a brilliant 66 yesterday to finish the round in solo second place, but we will not see the second part of his Claret Jug bid until much later today. Rory starts locally at 14.59 together with the strong Xander Schauffele and the defending champion Collin Morikawa.
In contrast, Tiger Woods has a mountain to climb after a miserable 6-over 78 left him far away from the cut mark, which is expected to be around par. Woods is a morning starter at 9:58 p.m.
Our leader Cameron Young departs from the iconic opening tee at 1:26 p.m. Let’s see all the Friday start times.
6.35: Mark Calcavecchia, Ryan Fox, Jediah Morgan
6.46: Christiaan Bezuidenhout, Bernd Wiesberger, Sam Bairstow
6.57: Adrian Meronk, Haotong Li, Marcus Armitage
7.08: Thriston Lawrence, Fabrizio Zanotti, Alex Wrigley
7.19: Aaron Wise, Si Woo Kim, Sam Horsfield
7.30: Talor Gooch, Shaun Norris, Wyndham Clark
7.41: Henrik Stenson, Russell Henley, Aldrich Potgieter (a)
7.52: Stewart Cink, Sergio Garcia, Aaron Jarvis (a)
8.03: Sungjae Im, Paul Casey, Gary Woodland
8.14: Dustin Johnson, Adam Scott, Marc Leishman
8.25: Scottie Scheffler, Joaquin Niemann, Tyrrell Hatton
8.36: Darren Clarke, Richard Bland, Filippo Celli
8.47: Kevin Na, Kazuki Higa, Erik Van Rooyen
9.03: David Duval, Justin Harding, Jordan Smith
9.14: Shugo Imahira, Jason Scrivener, David Law
9.25: Abraham Ancer, Yuto Katsuragawa, Emiliano Grillo
9.36: Louis Oosthuizen, Harris English, Keita Nakajima (a)
9.47: Padraig Harrington, Thomas Pieters, Keith Mitchell
9.58: Tiger Woods, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Max Homa
10.09: Jordan Spieth, Jon Rahm, Harold Varner III
10.20: Patrick Cantlay, Sam Burns, Mito Pereira
10.31: Keegan Bradley, Sebastian Munoz, Sahith Theegala
10.42: Laurie Canter, Dimitrios Papadatos, Matthew Griffin
10.53: John Catlin, Jamie Rutherford, David Carey
11.04: Mingyu Cho, Jorge Fernandez Valdes, Robert Dinwiddie
11.15: Lars Van Meijel, Jack Floydd, Ronan Mullarney
11.36: Paul Lawrie, Webb Simpson, Min Woo Lee
11.47: Sadom Kaewkanjana, Ben Campbell, Barclay Brown (a)
11.58: Dean Burmester, Chan Kim, Brandon Wu
12.09: Ian Poulter, Jamie Donaldson, Guido Migliozzi
12.20: Garrick Higgo, MinKyu Kim, Ashley Chesters
12.31: Phil Mickelson, Lucas Herbert, Kurt Kitayama
12.42: Patrick Reed, Tom Hoge, JooHyung Kim
12.53: John Daly, Bryson DeChambeau, Cameron Tringale
13.04: Cameron Smith, Brooks Koepka, Seamus Power
13.15: Francesco Molinari, Tommy Fleetwood, Justin Rose
13.26: Cameron Young, Kyoung-Hoon Lee, Robert MacIntyre
13.37: Zach Johnson, Billy Horschel, Corey Conners
13.48: Brian Harman, Pablo Larrazabal, Danny Willett
14.04: Stephen Dodd, JT Poston, Lee Westwood
14.15: Sepp Straka, Luke List, Justin De Los Santos
14.26: Ernie Els, Adrian Arnaus, Brad Kennedy
14.37: Mackenzie Hughes, Scott Vincent, Victor Perez
14.48: Jason Kokrak, Nicolai Højgaard, Sihwan Kim
14.59: Collin Morikawa, Rory McIlroy, Xander Schaufele
15.10: Shane Lowry, Justin Thomas, Viktor Hovland
15.21: Will Zalatoris, Hideki Matsuyama, Tony Finau
15.32: Kevin Kisner, Chris Kirk, Takumi Kanaya
15.43: Dylan Frittelli, Trey Mullinax, Matthew Jordan
15.54: Anthony Quayle, Zander Lombard, John Parry
16.05: Thomas Detry, Richard Mansell, Marco Penge
16.16: Alexander Björk, Oliver Farr, Matt Ford