The Open 2022 full leaderboard
Billy Foster’s hole-by-hole guide to the Old Course
Saudi rebel Ian Poulter booed on first tee before holing monster putt at the ninth
Rory McIlroy got his Open title tilt off to a fine start raising already high hopes that he could break his eight-year major duck.
The Northern Irishman was the tournament favourite and, despite winds picking up during the afternoon, he finished on six-under – his lowest opening round at an Open since he won at Hoylake in 2014.
The early leader is Cameron Young who shot a brilliant eight-under 64. The American is playing in his first Open but brought his fine form to the home of golf, firing in eight birdies in a bogey-free round.
Both players had ended their rounds by the time Tiger Woods got under way – and had a shocking start. He opened up with a double bogey, before dropping more shots at the third and fourth. The three-time Champion Golfer of the Year was visibly limping and reached the turn in five-over 41.
Follow all the latest first round updates below…
No birdie for Scheffler at the 16th
The Masters champion is wearing Tiger Woods Nike golf shoes and is playing like the man himself at four-under. Just needs to navigate the Road Hole because the 18th is the easiest hole on the course.
Woods misses a tiddler for birdie on the 12th
His drive ran through the back of the green and he played a lovely pitch before dragging the putt left. Scheffler has secured a solid par four at the 15th. He remains four behind Young and two behind McIlroy.
Scheffler bounces back to four-under
The Masters champion makes hay on the par five 14th, as does Tyrrell Hatton alongside him to move into red figures. Scheffler had a top 10 at Sandwich last year on his Open debut, so has adapted to the subtleties of links golf quickly.
Woods is back to five-over after a three-putt bogey on the 11th.
Some ironic celebrations from Woods on the 9th
Rahm reaches the turn at one-under
His tee shot at the 8th bounded on through the green and he failed to get up and down on the par three, before a birdie try is badly underhit at the 9th. His playing partner Spieth walks to the 10th tee at two-under.
Birdies all round at the 10th
Consecutive birdies for Woods, with stuffs a wedge into kick-in range at the short par four to get back to four-over. Might be a chance to make this at least a respectable day, with the short par four 12th and par five 14th coming up. Fitzpatrick also rolled in a putt for a three to get back to level par.
Rory McIlroy wants to make ‘fiddly his forte’
By Tom Morgan, at St Andrews
Rory McIlroy expressed delight over his “fantastic start” at the 150th Open, which presents him with a best chance in eight years to lift the Claret Jug again.
On a morning in which Ian Poulter was booed over his Saudi-backed league involvement, McIlroy kept other LIV rebels at bay by completing a superb 66.
The world number two said he now hopes to “make fiddly his forte” after overcoming fast-running conditions on the Old Course.
His “fantastic start” to go six under par, he said, was just “what you hope will happen when you’re starting off your week”.
“I did everything that you’re supposed to do around St Andrews,” added McIlroy, who earlier this week described the venue as golf’s “Holy Grail”.
“I birdied the holes that are birdieable. And I made pars at the holes where you’re sort of looking to make a par and move to the next tee. And didn’t really put myself out of position too much.”
His round left him two shots off pace-setter Cameron Young, whose 64 was the second-lowest first-round score in the Open at St Andrews after McIlroy’s 63 in 2010.
The 33-year-old last won the US PGA in 2014, a month after lifting the Claret Jug in 2014. An ankle injury McIlroy suffered playing football meant he was then unable to defend his Open title at St Andrews in 2015. However, he did finish third at the same venue in 2010 after carding the opening 63 followed by a second round of 80 in terrible conditions.
On Thursday, the Northern Irishman had been frustrated to out of position short of the 13th green and then flying a chip over a bunker 50 yards past the hole.
When asked to describe the course’s fast-running conditions, he said: “It’s the fiddliest Open that I’ve played. It’s the only way I can really describe it. It’s just really fiddly out there. Carnoustie was firm in 2018, but it wasn’t like this… I think as the tournament progresses, you’re going to get some funny bounces and it’s going to test your patience at times.
“And fiddly hasn’t really been my forte over the years, but I’m hopefully going to make it my forte this week.”
Woods with a birdie at the 9th…
He greets the birdie three with a wry smile as the galleries around the 9th go bananas. That putt means he turns over in five-over 41, and it has been a rough ordeal for him. The swing looks good and on plane, but I think transferring his weight from right to left is causing him some timing problems. That, and the obvious aches and pains.
Scottie Scheffler is not the first player to drop a shot on the tricky 13th, but a five drops him back to three-under. Par five to follow though, easily reachable for him.
Big drive from Woods on the 9th
That was a better swing with one of the longer clubs and his tee shot on the ninth runs through the back of the green. Chance to get up and down for his first birdie of the day.
For all the talk of St Andrews being taken apart this week, only three players have shot lower than 68: Young, McIlroy and Cam Smith.
Pars all-round at the 8th…
Woods gets up and down tidily from the left of the par three, while Fitzpatrick’s birdie try finishes in the jaws. A slow start for the US Open champion who is one-over.
Pars at the 7th for Rahm and Spieth
A scoreable hole passes them by as they mis-read their birdie putts, but the pair remain at two-under. Four behind McIlroy in second and six behind the leader Cameron Young.
World No 1 Scottie Scheffler is looking much more like his old self after a poor week at the Scottish Open. The American is four-under thru 12 holes.
Double bogey for Woods on the 7th…
He is now six-over after seven holes and any hopes of even making the cut look remote now.
His tee shot found a pot bunker on the 12th fairway, forcing him to splash out. His wedge shot came up well shy of the false front, but he played lovely bump and run to give himself a chance of bogey but the putt drifted left. A painful six in more ways than one.
Birdies for Rahm and Spieth at the sixth
Both players in that headline threeball of the later starters move to two-under which is a sound start. Short par fours to come at the 7th, 9th, 10th and 12th.
Another loose tee shot from Woods on the 7th
Lifts that injured right leg off the ground at impact, and the arms take over sending his ball well left on the short par four.
On the previous hole, Rahm has hit a fabulous wedge to within birdie range.
Tiger’s approach at the sixth is shy of the green
He’s not swinging the club with any ease and he’s got another tough up and down for par. For his third he uses the flat stick and leaves it eight-foot short. That leaves a tricky putt for par – can he make it?
The answer is YES – he needed that. He stays at four-over, way back in 136th spot.
It’s time for me to head back into the clubhouse – I’ll leave you in the very capable hands of Dan Zeqiri, who’ll take you through to the close.
Rahm misses short birdie putt at five
After his approach just short of the green it looked for all the world that the Spaniard would get to two-under. But the world No 3 misses a putt from two-feet and stays at one-under.
There’s clearly something in the threeball as playing partner Spieth also misses a short one to go to two-under.
What happens if a player gets Covid?
Ben Rumsby has the answer.
Players who test positive for Covid at the Open will not have to withdraw
Golfers who test positive for coronavirus during the Open will be able to continue playing, Telegraph Sport can reveal.
Although Scottish government guidance strongly advises anyone known to have the disease to self-isolate, the R&A is willing to allow those well enough to continue to do so provided they remain outdoors and socially distance during the event.
Telegraph Sport has been told the same protocol has been in place on the DP World Tour following research carried out last year that detected no cases of transmission among players.
The policy at the Open is also similar to that at the Tour de France, at which riders testing positive for Covid-19 have been allowed to remain in the race if they have a low viral load.
But it contrasts with that in place at Wimbledon, from which last year’s runner-up, Matteo Berrettini, and 2017 finalist, Marin Cilic, both withdrew last month after testing positive.
Telegraph Sport has been told they risked being thrown out of the tournament had they not done so.
Golf is arguably the most naturally socially-distanced of all sports and the recreational game was one of the first to resume after 2020’s first national lockdown.
Research was carried out last year into incidence and transmission Covid-19 among golfers and essential support staff on the DP World Tour who were subject to “risk assessment and enhanced risk reduction measures when considered a close contact as opposed to standard isolation”.
It concluded: “A risk assessment and risk reduction approach to contact tracing as compared with standard isolation did not lead to increased transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in this cohort. Its implementation avoided unnecessary self-isolation for players and other participants and enabled events to proceed. This approach can be implemented effectively when medical, operational support and testing infrastructure are immediately available at events.”
Tiger stays at four-over
He misses a chance to get a shot back at the par-five fifth. His second is just shy of the green, but his ship goes long of the pin, leaving him a tough downhill putt for birdie. He misses and has to settle for a five.
Playing partner Matt Fitzpatrick is also not playing his best – he’s one-over having also missed a chance to get a shot back at the fifth.
Jon Rahm is one-under through four
He’s playing with Jordan Spieth who is also one-under. Solid starts from two strongly fancied former world No 1s…
Of other big names out on the course Dustin Johnson is also one-under (through 10) and Louis Oosthuizen is one-over through six.
Eight-under: Cameron Young (F)
Six-under: Rory McIlroy (F)
Five-under: Cam Smith (F)
Four-under: Barclay Brown (F), Kurt Kitayama (F), Lee Westwood (F), Brad Kennedy (F), Viktor Hovland (F), Paul Casey (10), Scottie Scheffler (9)
Nick Faldo is back on comms
And again talking about himself, before commenting on Tiger’s poor start.
Scheffler is four-under
And making it look easy – similar to his stroll at the Masters.
Another bogey for Tiger
He was on the green in two at the fourth but a dreaded three-putt (usually such a strong part of his game) means he now four-over through four. This is a horror start for the 15-time major winner – one that no one wants to see.
There are only 11 golfers with worse score than him currently…
Scottie Scheffler goes through the back of the green at the ninth
He’s on three-under and an up-and-down will allow him to go out in four-under…he’s not been spoken about really as a possible winner (strange for a world No 1 in the form of his life…).
Another Rory stat to warm the heart
Opening rounds in majors:
More from Oliver Brown
Our Chief Sports Writer is following Tiger Woods and has just filed this…
Woods is visibly limping as he drifts to +3 after three, barely acknowledging the crowd support. The pace of play is also painfully glacial: 52 minutes to reach the fourth tee. The final threeballs will be challenged to be in before sunset at this rate.
Rory McIlroy speaks…
“Have to make your score going out and I did that. The back nine even though it’s downwind is tricky. I birdied the holes I should have today. The course is firm and it’s about limiting your mistakes…I’m putting well, I’m thinking well and think that’s the most important part this week on this course.”
Tiger drops another shot
He couldn’t make the par putt at the third – and ultimately does well to hole the one coming back. He’s at three-over through three.
Lowry had a bad start and is back to level through 17 so he’ll know he can come back, but it’s a poor start from the three-time Champion Golfer of the Year.
Tiger in trouble at the third
His tee shot at the 398-yard par four is way left, his approach is shy of the green, his third is a chip that leaves him with a downhill putt of about eight foot.
Good omen time…
That’s Rory’s lowest opening round at an Open since he won at Hoylake in 2014…
Can we dare to dream?
Rory is a whisker away from an eagle at the last
His second shot – a putt from pin-high on the left – ends an inch from dropping in the cup. It’s a birdie, however, and he’ll sign for a six-under 66 – just the start he wanted and needed. The slow start to majors well and truly hit into the long rough today.
Morikawa has had a round to forget – the defending champion has carded a level-par 72. Completing the threeball is Schauffele who pars the last for a three-under 69.
From Oliver Brown…
Here’s what our Chief Sports Writer has to say from inside the ropes following Tiger…
“Following Tiger Woods, you sense the anticipation is easily as intense as during the first Open he played here at the Old Course in 2000. He might be two over after just two holes, but galleries still remember the phenomenon who won by eight 22 years ago. “Oh, GOAT,” one overwhelmed spectator cries as he tees off on the second.”
Tiger does well to par the second
He was over the green with his approach but can two-putt from there. The Big Beast stays at two-over.
Rory gets it pin high at 18
With. An. Iron. Useful.
Up and down from there will take him to six-under.
Paul Casey was in the last group
When the Open was here in 2010. He’s made a fine start to this edition – he’s four-under through eight.
Great up-and-down from Rory
After that hideous approach he’ll take a four at 17 (everyone will take a four on the Road Hole this week…) and he stays at five-under with the driveable 18th to come.
The infamous hole can now count Schauffele as a victim. After a fine drive his approach goes over the green and ends up on the eponymous road. The Scottish Open winner cannot emulate McIlroy and get up and down in two and falls back to three-under.
Here’s Tiger’s approach at the first
It was in a divot but he’d have backed himself to get it over the burn…
Rory serves up a peach of a drive on the Road Hole
That leaves him 118 to the pin on the infamous hole. But he leaves his pitch short and left, it avoids the nightmare bunker but he has a tricky (ish) up-and-down for par now…
The wind is picking up
And it looks as though the early starters will have the better of the conditions.
Tiger nearly holes his fourth …
After the drop – he then proceeds to two putt from three feet. It was no tap in but that’s a less than ideal start, he’s two-over through one.
Playing partners Fitzpatrick and Homa both register pars.
Tiger finds the Swilcan Burn at the first
That was unfortunate – it looked as though his tee shot found a divot making the short second shot tougher. He caught it fat, bringing up a faceful of sand and the ball landed short of the famous hazard before trundling in…
Rory’s lag putting has been first-class today
Another wonderfully judged putt, from off the green at 16 ensures he leaves that green with a par, staying at five-under.
A word on his playing partner Xander Schauffele – he dropped a shot at the first but since then is blemish-free and finds himself on four-under.
Making up that threeball is defending champion Collin Morikawa and he’s solid at best – one-over after three birdies and four bogeys, the latest of which came at the 16th.
Tiger is on the first tee
The sight of Ernie Els plotting his way nicely round the Old Course – until the three dropped shots over 16 and 17 – will have doubtless caught the eye of Woods. Proof that brain rather than brawn will count for a lot this week.
Tiger’s opening shot is a semi-stinger down the fairway.
He’s playing with none other than the new US Open champion, Matt Fitzpatrick. His tee shot is a punched three-wood and ends up safe and sound on the short stuff.
The third player in this threeball is Max Homa, who back in 2013 as an amateur asked Tiger for a round. Well, he’s now playing his his hero in The Open at the home of golf – not a bad dream come true… His tee shot is also safe and sound.
Els leaves the Road Hole with a double bogey
After the horror tee shot that was always the likely score on the infamous hole.
If he can get a birdie at the last a score of three-under will still be a good day’s work.
Ernie’s drive at the 17th ends up…
…out of bounds close the the famous Jigger Inn. He might need a pint now. The tee shot hugged the Old Course Hotel too closely and it ends out of bounds.
He’s still four-under so hopefully he can leave the infamous Road Hole without too much damage to his scorecard.
Rory back to five-under
Having dropped a shot at the 13th the favourite gets the shot immediately back at the next – the par-five 14th.
His second goes over the green, but the resulting chip is exquisite – out of the rough, over a hollow, to within a foot – leaveing him a tap-in for four.
Westy birdies the last to end on…
It’s a fine way to finish a good round. Lee ‘Westy’ Westwood drove the green and two putted from about 40 feet. That birdie got back the shot he dropped at the Road Hole.
A reminder that Tiger Woods goes off at 2.59
How will the Big Beast fare?
If there’s a tournament he can win it’s The Open – with the hard fairways distance isn’t a factor and his experience of two wins here will count for a lot. But how will his leg cope? Watching the practice rounds it was noticeable that there was a slight limp. Either way we’ll find out soon…
Current leader Cameron Young speaks…
“I had a lot of fun. I made a couple of long putts early which got us off to a good start and from there just played solid golf. If you can get through eight then you have a bunch of good opportunities in the middle.”
Scottie Scheffler is at one-under
The world No 1 and Masters champion hasn’t really been spoken about as a possible champion this week – he’s bizarrely as much under the radar at St Andrews as its possible for a world No 1 to be.
He parred the first two before sinking a birdie putt from eight foot at the third.
The bomber explains how the course setup prevented him from getting the Big Dog (driver to the purists…) out at regular intervals today…
“Even with 3,000 spin on my driver, which I inherently did for this week, I can’t control it in the fairway. So I’ve got to play a four-iron that can still run 300 yards and have wedges in from there. It does take driver out of play quite a bit. Even three-wood at the ninth was too much and there’s bunkers that are kind of diabolical. You’ve got to strategise your way around this golf course really well and it’s not simple by any means. This is about winning a major championship that I have to be strategic out here. There’s no way to bomb and gouge it out this week.”
Rory drops a shot
But it could so easily have been a double bogey.
The world No 2 is in trouble off the tee at the par-four 13th. Out of the rough his approach finds a down slope just shy of a bunker. He’s left with a long par putt that he does well to get in in two. It’s his first blemish of the day and a reminder of what this course can do if you get out of position.
Rory’s back to four-under.
It’s fair to say I got rather excited by that mammoth Poulter putt
At the ninth. It was an eagle putt of all of 162 feet.
I suspected it might have been the longest televised putt in history, beating Michael Phelps’ (yes, that Michael Phelps) monster putt in the 2012 Dunhill Pro-Am.
BUT our man in the know, James Corrigan, has reminded me that Dave Pelz holed one at Whistling Straits from 200ft (proper long…). So we’ll say Poulter’s putt is the longest longest ever televised putt in Britain – still not a bad accolade…
Eight-under: Cameron Young (64)
Five-under: Cam Smith (67), Ernie Els (13), Rory McIlroy (12)
Four-under: Barclay Brown (68), Kurt Kitayama (68), Westwood (15)
Cam Smith speaks…
…after his impressive 67…
“Keeping it on the fairway is key, they are so firm and fast. Keeping it on the fairway is quite hard to do. Some of my lag putting was the best I’ve done. “
More roars for Rory
That’s because he’s just added a birdie at the 12th. It could have been better – he drive just shy of the green and his putt up a slope hit the pin but refused to drop. That left him with a simple birdie putt to take him to five-under.
He’s looking as though he’s enjoying himself out there and well within himself – ominous for his rivals…
Cameron Young ends with a birdie
Having driven through the back of the green at 18. It’s a fabulous round of 64 – his eight-under leads.
The pins are tucked away today BUT that round still shows what’s possible on this fabled course.
He couldn’t, could he?
Yep, Lee ‘Westy’ Westwood is now at four-under after another birdie at the 15th. Despite his moving to the Saudi breakaway you think he’d still be a popular winner – a long, long way to go but good early signs for the man without a major.
The afternoon ‘Big Names’ are getting their rounds underway
And it’s a great start for LIV posterboy Dustin Johnson – he’s birdied the first having left himself with a full shot for his approach. He got off to a rapid start here in 2015 before the weekend wind blew his chance of a Claret Jug away.
His playing partner Adam Scott pars and the third of the threeball, Mark Leishman, also birdies.
Wonder for Westy
The LIV golfer and contender for ‘Best Player To Never Win A Major’ has rolled in a a birdie putt on the par-five 14th to move to three-under.
He was two-over through two but since then has registered five birdies and is looking good. If he is to ever win that elusive major – and considering he’s part of the rebel series you have to say his chances may be more limited now – you’d think it will be in an Open.
Anyway, rolling in birdies in an Open at St Andrews is a great way of ‘growing the game’…
Update on Rory
He’s posted four pars since his three birdies on the bounce. He’s had chances to go lower – not least at the short par-four 10th when his drive left him 50 yards to the pin – but he’s stays at four-under, now through 11.
Two movers to five-under
And they are none other than one oldie and one young gun (28’s still young, no?!). Ernie Els continues to roll back the years with a birdie at the 12th (to go with his birdie at 11) and Cam Smith ended his round with one at the 18th. The Aussie hasn’t ever done well at The Open (best finish being T-20) but he’s well in the early mix here.
Missed chances for Cameron Young
He’s still on seven-under but it could so easily be nine-under after missed birdie chances at 14 and 15.
DeChambeau ends on three-under
He birdies the last to get back his dropped shot at 16.
That was a solid start from the big-hitting American (I think it’s law you have to always describe him that way…). He didn’t try and maim the ball and try drive all the short pars fours. After a poor years he should be very happy with that round.
Cam Smith stays at four-under
By virtue of playing the infamous Road Hole sensibly – namely don’t go pin-hunting, and bring in the Road Hole bunker into play, with your approach and play to the left of the green. He two-putts from distance to walk off with a not-to-be-sniffed-at four.
The Big Easy rolling back the years
Ernie Els has just sunk a birdie putt at the 11th to move to four-under and a share of second spot. He’s back at 1,806 in the world rankings but the Open champion in 2002 and 2012 knows how to play links golf and illustrating it nicely at the moment.
Tom Morgan at the Old Course
Our reporter has the latest on the travel problems in Fife…
The 52,000 crowd is unlikely to peak until later for Tiger Woods teeing off, but earlier arrivals at St Andrews avoided the worst of the expected chaos on the roads, with extra coaches and an additional park and ride easing extra pressure caused by a train shortage.
“It was longer than normal getting in, but we got the Stagecoach from Dundee and we’ve only arrived about 45 minutes later than we expected,” said Sarah McDonald, 56, who had travelled with her husband Graeme from Lancashire. James Easterbrook, 46, from Glasgow, added: “We’re pretty annoyed we couldn’t get the train, but, to be honest, the traffic’s been pretty well managed.”
Crowds have already been in fine voice. There have been pantomime boos for Ian Poulter, but jeers turned to cheers when the Englishman holed a monster 160ft putt for an eagle two.
Phil Campbell, the head of customer operations for ScotRail, conceded this week to spectators “we may not be able to get you to the course” due to a pay dispute. On May 23 ScotRail introduced temporary timetables after drivers declined to make themselves available for overtime or rest day working due to ongoing strike negotiations.
The train operator is running a very limited number of trains to and from Leuchars, the nearest station to St Andrews, but the last returning train is around 7pm.
Ahead of the first day’s competition, the Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews admitted there would be only so much the event can do to ease gridlock on some of the historic roads around the Home of Golf. Extra local buses have been put on by Stagecoach, linking St Andrews to Dundee, Cupar, Glenrothes, and the villages around the East Neuk of Fife, as well as an express bus service connecting to Glasgow and Edinburgh.
The R&A could break its previous attendance record at 239,000 in 2000 across the week when Tiger Woods won by eight strokes.
Cameron Young plays a great approach to par-five 14th
That leaves him with a 40-foot putt for eagle which he leaves short. He now has a six-footer for birdie and the chance to get to eight-under. Can he make it? No he cannot…he’ll be disappointed with that…just the par and he stays at seven-under, any consolation will be found in the fact he still has a three-shot lead.
Seven-under: Cameron Young (13)
Four-under: Barclay Brown (68), Kurt Kitayama (68), Cameron Smith (15), Rory McIlroy (8)
Three-under: Min Woo Lee (69), Ian Poulter (69), JooHyung Kim (69), Ernie Els (10), Bred Kennedy (10), Dylan Frittelli (5)
From Kate Rowan out on the course
There was a scramble to get to the practice putting green when a bag with a cuddly tiger club cover was spotted. However, the throng of fans were left disappointed as it did not belong to Mr Woods. The owner was Chinese world No 139 Haotong Li who teed of at midday. Three hours before he tees off Tiger watch is well and truly on.
Paul Lawrie has his say about the pin positions
Our man at St Andrews, James Corrigan, asked Lawrie, 1999 Open champion and the first out here this morning, about the tough pin positions, and the Scot had this to say…
“The fact that we have to put pins where they are to make sure that scoring is not silly around here tells you that maybe the length that things are going is just starting to get a wee bit out of hand.”
Rory is on a roll
Yep, you’ve guessed it, the favourite has birdied his third hold on the bounce to move to four-under. He’s got that precious thing everyone wants in sport momentum (or Maurice (Mo to his mates…) Mentum as I call it…)
He didn’t go for the well-protected green in one at the 371-yard par four, laying up short of the Shell bunker. That left him with 76 yards in, and an-up-down from there moves him to a share of second.
Ian Poulter ends on three-under
A great round after a horror start that saw the Ryder Cup hero booed on the first tee before nearly finding the out-of-bounds on the widest fairway in golf.
He managed to par that opening hole before turning in three-under thanks to a monster 162-foot birdie at the ninth – a record, we suspect for longest televised putt. Two birdies on the back nine were cancelled out by two bogeys but a first-round three-under 69 is a more-than-solid start for the LIV golfer.
Here are how some ‘Big Names’ are faring
Lee Westwood is two-under through 10
Ernie Els is also on two-under (8)
Bryson DeChambeau three-under after 14
Justin Thomas is one-under after five
Viktor Hovland is also one-under through five
LIV golfers Mickelson and Reed are level-par after 16 and 15 respectively
Cameron Young is on fire
He’s birdied the short par-four 12th having gone through the back of the green with his drive. A cute up-and-down moves him to seven-under.
He’s two clear of Joohyung Kim and while he’ll be hitting into the wind on the final six holes he’ll have chances to get even lower…
Rory moves to three-under
A birdie at the par-four sixth – his tee shot left him 89 yards his approach left a six-foot putt – moves him to tied-sixth. Impressive.
Here’s a fun fact
Courtesy of Michael Wolf (@bamabearcat)…
Until 1992 the Cheape family of St Andrews (and of Cheape bunker fame) owned the rights to use six tee times on the Old Course each and every day – including on days the Open Championship was being played. The R&A was finally able to buy back the rights to the tee times for £245,000.
Personally, I would have charged more, or at least kept one of the tee times…
Cameron Young just avoids the bushes on the left of the 12th
And the leader is through the back of the green in one.
Cameron Young has a two-shot lead
His tee shot at the par-three 11th left him with a 10-footer and he makes no mistake from there to move to six-under. Six birdies and no bogeys is a great way to start – he’s now got the short, inviting 351-yard par four 12th to come, well within his range…
Rory gets to two-under
He goes for the green in two on the par-five fifth, as many will do this week, and is in the greenside rough. But a delightful chip off the up-slope leaves him a two-foot putt and he’s at two-under. This has been an impressive, solid start from the favourite.
Cameron Young takes the sole lead
The big hitting American (aren’t they all..?!) has just birdied the ninth to be the first golfer out there to reach five-under. His drive at the 352-yard hole went over the back of the green, but a great up-and-down gets him the sole lead.
His tee-shot at the par-three 11th is a peach and leaves him with a 10-footer to get to six-under…
Barclay Brown has already won the hat competition
And the English amateur has a putt on 18 to lead The Open – the eight-foot attempt just misses but it’s been a fine round.
He finishes on four-under thanks to five birdies and just the one bogey.
Cam Smith always seems to do well at the majors
And despite his patchy record at The Open – his best finish is T-20 – the mulletted Aussie is four-under through 10. Four birdies – the latest at the short par four 10th – and no bogeys has sent him to the top of the leaderboard alongside Joohyung Kim and his fellow Cameron, Cameron Young.
4-under – Cameron Young, Cameron Smith, Joohyung Kim
3-under – Min Woo Lee, Kurt Kitayama, Billy Horschel, Brad Kennedy
Are the pin positions too tough?
Our golf correspondent James Corrigan certainly thinks so.
“I think the R&A might have gone a tad too far with the severity of these pin positions. Can understand the fear of the Old Course being humiliated in relatively benign conditions, but it’s definitely limiting the excitement. If only the governing bodies would rein back the ball, then the course set-up would not need to be so OTT.”
Poor start from Shane Lowry
The 2019 champion has double-bogeyed the par-four second – a poor tee shot to the right – the one place you cannot go on the Old Course – was his undoing. He’s two-over through two.
Justin Thomas is committing crimes against fashion
Well, at least fashion on the hallowed Fife links.
JT is wearing a hoodie – which I am sort of fine with (all the hullabaloo over Hatton wearing a hoodie at Wentworth a year or so ago was overdone) – but is also wearing the tightest of tight trousers and no socks….someone should have a word with him…
The US PGA champion is level par through two.
There are currently 27 players under par
The course is playing as many expected – there are opportunities out there, good shots are getting rewarded and bad ones punished, as it should be. But with the tucked pins and rock-hard ground this isn’t the low-scoring fest some feared.
Rory pars the second
He had a tricky two-putt to negotiate – up a steep slope to a plateau – and his distance judgement is perfect, that’s a good sign.
Playing partner Morikawa bogeys and falls to one-over.
Min Woo Lee is hot at the moment
Having been two-over through three the Australian is six-under since. He’s eagled the par-five 14th and is enjoying his round.
Three-way tie at the top now
Cameron Young, the highly thought of American, has joined Joohyung Kim and Min Woo Lee at four-under.
Rory opens with birdie
As if to get us hoping very early on that this could be his year…stop flirting with us…!
The world No 2 hits his approach over the flag, leaving him a 50-footer to go one-under. It’s a beautiful putt that looked in from halfway.
Let the hope begin in earnest…
Morikawa pars and Schauffele bogeys.
Terry Wogan eat your heart out
Ian Poulter is having an eventful round. He started off being booed on the first tee before nearly hitting his opening tee shot out of bounds on the widest fairway in golf.
He then proceeded to take the lead thanks to a 160 +foot putt at the ninth WHICH, I think, could well be the longest ever televised putt, a record once held by none other than Terry Wogan.
It’s not official but I think Poulter’s putt is longer than Michael Phelps’ 160-foot monster drained at the 2012 Dunhill Links at Kingsbarns…Terry’s 100-foot putt was sunk at Gleneagles in pro-celebrity TV programme in 1981.
Rory gets his title tilt under way
As does the defending champion Collin Morikawa.
McIlroy hits his tee shot down the fairway as does last year’s Champion Golfer of the year…making up the threeball is Xander Schauffele and he joins them on the short grass.
McIlroy opened the 2010 championship here with a 63 before following up with an 80…he’s waited 12 years to get back here for an Open (a footy injury ruling him out of the 2015 edition), can he get back on the major-winning train at the one place he wants to win (well, here and Augusta, to be fair…).
Poulter drops back to two-under
That’s due to a bogey at the par-three 11th – a three-putt (ouch) his undoing.
Is one of the co-leaders on three-under and if he continues his current form he will indeed render the Old Course obsolete – that’s because he’s three-under through three, so he’s on for a 54…he obviously won’t get that but it’s fair to say it’s a more than useful start from the world No 60…
DeChambeau birdies the seventh
After that monster drive it wasn’t to be an eagle BUT it’s the easiest of birdies and that’s three in a row for the American. He’s now at two-under.
There’s a five-way tie at the top
Wu and Poulter have been joined on three-under by Americans Cameron Tringale, JT Poston and South Korea’s Joo-Hyung Kim.
Bubbling under on two-under are seven golfers, whose number includes Robert MacIntyre who has birdied the second and third.
Dechambeau has been the dictionary definition of reserve so far
Irons off the tee etc – far more Shooter McGavin than Happy Gilmore…
That is until the par-four seventh when he goes for the green at the 371-yard hole. He nails the drive, carrying Shell bunker (which is at roughly 310 yards) and will have a putt for eagle to get to three-under. That’s the DeChambeau we expected this week…
Phil Mickelson is at one-under after six pars and a birdie at the seventh, and DeChambeau is one-under thanks to back-to-back birdies at the fifth and sixth.
So I said I wasn’t great with distances
I had Poulter’s eagle putt on the ninth as 120 feet. The official Twitter account of The Open has it down as ‘over 160 feet’. Bravo…
Justin Rose speaks
Via Twitter the 2013 US Open champion said: “On the 4th hole yesterday during my practice round, I made a swing with my driver and started to feel pain in my lower back. I’ve been getting around the clock treatment but it just doesn’t feel ready to compete in this prestigious championship.”
Poulter didn’t hold sole lead for too long
He’s been joined by Brandon Wu on three-under, the American has just birdied the 10th.
Ian Poulter eagles the ninth!
After his horror start he’s bounced back brilliantly. He was on one-under on the ninth tee before he drove the green on the 352-yard par four. He then drained his 120 foot (at a guess…distances aren’t my forte…) putt.
He now leads on three-under, a fine turnaround!
The low scores everyone feared…
Despite the benign conditions it’s only two-under that leads and there are six golfers on that number.
Simpson drops a shot at 12
The American is Exhibit A in showing how short par fours aren’t always lambs to the slaughter. He tried to drive the green and found the bushes to the left – ultimately doing well to only drop a shot, the ultimate risk-and-reward hole.
He’s now at one-under.
Nick Faldo is on Sky comms
And he must be loving it as he’s already had a chance to remind everyone he won The Open at St Andrews back in 1990…
To be fair the five-shot win was impressive and if I won the Masters and then Open at the home of golf in the same year I might dine out on it for the rest of my life…
Webb Simpson was sole leader
But has dropped back to two-under and now he’ll do well to avoid dropping a shot at the risk-and-reward 12th. He went for the green at the 351-yard par four and found the bushes on the left – that wasn’t the shot shaped (draw verging on a hook) to hit there…
Ian Poulter didn’t have the best start
Being booed and hooking your opening tee shot was less than ideal but he has got over that horror beginning by parring the first five holes and birdieing the sixth. A fine approach to the 414-yard par-four left him with a 14 foot putt that he sank well. He’s at one-under.
The leaders are on two-under
And there are now four off them.
Webb Simpson has dropped a shot at the 10th (he hasn’t parred a hole since the sixth…) and joins our favourite amateur Barclay Brown (he of the bucket hat, see below…), American Cameron Tringale and big-hitting Australian Lucas Herbert.
If there was a hat competition
There’s little doubt that Barclay Brown would beat Patrick Reed…
No slightly rude and provocative sartorial statement, a la Reed with his LIV number, from the amateur. Brown is wearing a festival bucket hat and is managing to pull it off on the hallowed links…bravo!
The Englishman is currently second on two-under through nine…what a fine start.
Webb Simpson is at three-under
That’s thanks to a birdie at the ninth – he has fallen back to two-under with bogey at the famous eighth – the first of two par threes – but he showed great bouncebackability (thanks, Iain Dowie…) to get back to three-under the very next hole.
The ninth is one of the six par fours that are well in range for most big(ish) hitters…
Read about that hole and the other 17 here, courtesy of Billy Foster…
More on Rose’s withdrawal
By James Corrigan
Rose seen struggling on Wednesday in practice but after intensive therapy he and his team said they thought he would good to go. It’s a kick in the teeth for the Englishman who was so looking forward to this Championship, as he wrote in his Telegraph column on Tuesday. Japan’s Rikayuna Hoshina got a late call up
Justin Rose has pulled out
The Englishman withdrew just minutes before he was due to begin his opening round.
The former world No 1 was due to tee off at 8:14am alongside Tommy Fleetwood and Francesco Molinari, but was a noticeable absentee on the first and confirmed his withdrawal soon after. Rose had abandoned his practice round on Wednesday when he suffered with a back issue, and despite practising on the range on Thursday morning, he took the decision to pull out before his Open Championship campaign had begun.
DeChambeau drops at shot at the second
He three putted and is at one-over, the tight pin position proving too much for the American who took an iron off the tee.
What an Alpha combo…
Two big hitters…
The field is currently four-over
Those pin positions and fact it’s a bit chilly not conducive to ‘tearing the course apart’, so far at least…
The pin positions are tricky today
In benign conditions tucking the pins away is one way to defend the course. A good example of this is on the second where the flag is just above a hollow – DeChambeau has to putt up the hollow/bowl and does well to get the ball to within five feet.
Webb Simpson is the early leader
The 2012 US Open champion (don’t worry if you cannot remember him winning it, it wasn’t the most memorable tournament – typical US Open, defensive golf etc etc) is three-under through seven thanks to birdies at the third, fifth and seventh.
DeChambeau hits an iron off the second tee
That’s a bit of a surprise – while an iron off the first was clearly the play (with the burn to negotiate) you would have thought he’d get the big dog out for the second.
Having said DeChambeau will have an easy birdie putt…
The American misses from three feet – he pushed that, not one to dwell on.
DeChambeau is up and running
The big-hitting American (yep, I know it’s not the most imaginative description, but it’s fairly accurate…) takes an iron off the tee (no thought of trying to take on the Swilcan Burn and drive the green) and stiffs his approach to two feet. He’ll have an easy putt for an opening birdie.
DeChambeau is without a top-20 this year so if he challenges for the Claret Jug it will be a shock.
He’s playing with Santa, aka John Daly, his forerunner as the grip-it-and-rip-it King who won here in 1995. He’s off to a good start with a simple par.
How NOT to ingratiate yourself with your hosts…
Yep, Patrick Reed, a golfer who could (at polite times) be described as Marmite, is wearing a LIV golf cap…classy. Is it in his contract?! ‘In return for many millions you must wear a LIV baseball cap at The Open’…
Mickelson got a four at the first
No problems for the six-time major winner as he registers a par – on in two and a regulation two-putt.
Paul Lawrie is at two-over
The 1999 champion bogeyed the second and doubled the fourth BUT has just birdied the fifth to get back to two-over.
Here’s where Poulter’s tee shot on the first ended up
That’s as far right as you can go without ending up in the town…
There has been much talk about the weather
More specifically the wind. If conditions are calm throughout there is a fear the ‘Old Lady’ of St Andrews could be taken apart by the big hitters.
READ: It would be an affront to golf if ‘Old Lady’ of St Andrews can no longer defend herself
Well, channelling my inner Michael Fish it’s very calm out there at the moment. The wind was blowing in the practice rounds but it’s currently fairly still…
‘Phil’ about to get started
The poster boy for the the hugely controversial rebel LIV tour made his long-awaited return to the PGA Tour at last month’s US Open, where he missed the cut.Mickelson, who lifted the Claret Jug in 2013, wasn’t, unlike Poulter, booed…The American finds the fairway without much trouble.
Of the early starters…
Webb Simpson is the only man in red figures, the American former US Open champion is on one-under. Highly fancied Min Woo Lee is two-over. Both golfers are through three holes.
Poulter makes four at the first
After that tee shot that may well give him (and anyone who watched it) nightmares the Ryder Cup star was able to register a four.
So the first ‘Big Name’ to get under way was Ian Poulter
And it’s fair to say it wasn’t the best start. The Englishman who is one of the marquee names to play in the hugely controversial Saudi breakaway LIV Golf series was booed on the first tee and then that was compounded by a horrible hooked tee shot that only just stayed on the fairway (this is the widest fairway in the whole of golf). The tee shot was so wide that he has to got relief from a fence that was impeding his swing for his second.
The Englishman got on the green in two, however, and should make par from there.
Selected tee times
07:08 Guido Migliozzi (Ita), Ian Poulter (Eng), Jamie Donaldson (Wal)
07:30 Lucas Herbert (Aus), Phil Mickelson (US), Kurt Kitayama (US)
07:52 John Daly (US), Bryson DeChambeau (US), Cameron Tringale (US)
08:03 Brooks Koepka (US), Seamus Power (Ire), Cameron Smith (Aus)
08:14 Tommy Fleetwood (Eng), Francesco Molinari (Ita), Justin Rose (Eng)
09:58 Rory McIlroy (NI), Collin Morikawa (US), Xander Schauffele (US)
10:09 Viktor Hovland (Nor), Shane Lowry, Justin Thomas (US)
10:20 Tony Finau (US), Hideki Matsuyama (Jpn), Will Zalatoris (US)
13:04 Paul Casey (Eng), Sung Jae Im (Kor), Gary Woodland (US)
13:15 Dustin Johnson (US), Marc Leishman (Aus), Adam Scott (Aus)
13:26 Tyrrell Hatton (Eng), Joaquin Niemann (Chi), Scottie Scheffler (US)
14:59 Matthew Fitzpatrick (Eng), Max Homa (US), Tiger Woods (US)
15:10 Jon Rahm (Spa), Jordan Spieth (US), Harold Varner III (US)
It doesn’t get much better than this
Hello and welcome to Telegraph Sport’s coverage of The Open at St Andrews – a tournament that if you cannot get excited about then you have no soul.
The best golfers on the planet playing for the Claret Jug at home of golf just oozes tradition, history and, if you’re like me, kid-on-Christmas-Eve levels of excitement.
As if to add to the almost mythical levels of anticipation Rory McIlroy says winning an Open Championship at St Andrews is golf’s “Holy Grail”. Three-time Open champion Bobby Jones famously said an elite player’s career would not be complete without lifting the Claret Jug on the Old Course.
“I don’t know if a golfer’s career isn’t complete if you don’t, but I think it’s the Holy Grail of our sport,” replied McIlroy as he was asked about the quote. But a roll call of those who have lifted the Claret Jug at the home of golf does certainly indicate that it has a reputation for crowning some of the most distinguished names to have played the game – Jones, Sam Snead, Peter Thomson, Jack Nicklaus, Seve Ballesteros, Nick Faldo and Tiger Woods have all tasted glory at St Andrews (although the last two winners of the Open here, Louis Oosthuizen and Zach Johnson, good as they are, aren’t exactly all-time greats…).
McIlroy starts the tournament as favourite and having missed that chance to defend his 2014 Open win when the major was last played on the hallowed fairways in Fife in 2015 (thanks to a football injury, of all things…) he’s keen to add his name to the list of all-time greats to have lifted the Claret Jug at St Andrews.
“I’m playing well. I’m in good form. My confidence in my game is as high as it’s been in quite a while,” said McIlroy, who was second in the Masters, eighth in the US PGA and fifth in the US Open. “But I can’t go in here thinking that this might be my time. I just have to go out and play a really good tournament. I’ve got to string four good rounds together, and hopefully at the end of the week, that’s good enough to win.
“I’m happy where everything’s at, and I just can’t get ahead of myself. Just have to make sure that I prepare well the next couple of days and get myself in the right frame of mind for Thursday.”
One worry surrounding this edition of golf’s oldest tournament is whether today’s technology and big hitters could render the ‘Old Lady’ of St Andrews obsolete. Faldo has speculated that if conditions are calm for next four days then we could see the first 59 in a major.
McIlroy, however, isn’t predicting a birdie fest. The favourite thinks that while the winning score could be low it won’t be near the 20-under mark.
“I don’t think we are going to see it,” McIlroy said regarding the fear the course could be overpowered. “You can bomb it and get close to the greens but that doesn’t necessarily mean you are going to make birdies.
“I can see it (the winning total) being low, but I can’t see something in the 20 under range. Everyone has seen how firm and fast the fairways are and it’s going to get pretty tricky at the end of the week.”
Stay here throughout the day for all the action from the home of golf.