The buzz of that heavyweight exchange of body blows in the form of golf shots has lingered on and yet here we are again, mid-July and into the week of The 2017 Open Championship, our third Major. “And I was only 35 feet from the hole”.
The Irishman’s last appearance in the event was back in 2014 and the following week he led from start to finish to win the Open at Hoylake – around 30 miles away from Birkdale – before recording victories in the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and US PGA in consecutive starts.
Players will have to be prepared for inclement weather this week and that could suit rising local star TOMMY FLEETWOOD.
When you’re not playing good and the course is playing pretty tough, and I’ve seen it way, way worse than this, you can still get it around Birkdale.
He even finally got around to playing Royal Birkdale.
And the idea that the Open has statistically produced older champions than the other majors may yet help him.
However, a general price of top Englishman at 7/2 may well prove a safer option.
O’Meara, who won the Masters in 1998 and lifted the Claret Jug at Birkdale three months later, hit the opening shot at 6.35am straight out of bounds as wind and heavy rain made conditions testing for the early starters.
“I’ve had a few outside chances that I haven’t quite capitalized upon in the past, so the (Open) record doesn’t look good”.
“He said ‘You’re Rory McIlroy, what the f*** are you doing?'”
“I’ve decided”, Rose said, “that that’s kind of going to be a non-issue going forward”.
Par at the acknowledged most hard opening hole on the Open rotation was always going to be a good score whatever the conditions and though these had been anticipated, the players had difficultly adjusting until the rain stopped at around 7.15am and the wind began to drop. But you still play for your pride and certainly I’m disappointed that I didn’t do better.
Poulter birdied the par-5 17th hole from the bunker, then got up-and-down from another bunker on the 18th to post his lowest first-round score at a major.
“When you feel like you’re going to lose someone that is very close to you, there’s nothing you want to do more than just be with them and you don’t even want to think about playing golf or even think about working”, he said. “I’ve got to just try and start with tomorrow’s first ball and just somehow find it on Sunday and hopefully I’m there in contention”.
“I thought today’s round was extremely important, as they all are, but given the forecast coming in, I thought you really needed to be in the red (under par) today”. I hung in on the back nine. So I’ve gotten a lot of practice on the course. When you’re 9-over par through eight holes or whatever I was, you know, it’s very disappointing, to be honest with you, but it’s not the end of the world.