Tommy Fleetwood sets the pace in the Open, Rory McIlroy fights hard, and the 18th hole stumps everyone.
On the first day of The Open, Tommy Fleetwood shot a great five-under-par 66 at Royal Liverpool. This gave people hope that an English golfer could win for the first time in 31 years.
At the end of round one, he was tied for the lead with an amateur from South Africa, Christo Lamprecht, and an amateur from Argentina, Emiliano Grillo.
They are ahead of Antoine Rozner of France, Adrian Otaegui of Spain, and Brian Harman of the United States by one point.
Northern Ireland is number two in the world. Rory McIlroy’s tough 71 was made up of three birdies and three bogeys.
The Open standings after the first round
Since 1992, when Nick Faldo won his third Claret Jug at Muirfield, no English player has been named the best of the year. Tony Jacklin was the last person to win in England, at Royal Lytham & St. Annes in 1969.
You could see why Fleetwood’s three straight birdies starting on the 14th hole and his solid four-foot par putt on the last hole made fans roar with joy.
The 32-year-old is from Southport, which is 30 miles up the coast of Merseyside. In 2019, his best score was second, and he tied for fourth place last year. He is still looking for his first major title.
Fleetwood sped through the back nine in only 32 shots, which made him the early starter on the Wirral coast with the most fans.
He said, “It’s a great chance to play so close to home, and I’m glad I gave them some good golf to watch.”
“The fans can’t do anything more. They treated me so well.”
Fleetwood was playing with the world’s best golfer, Scottie Scheffler, who finished with a birdie on the last hole for a score of 70, and Australian Adam Scott, who had a double-bogey on the last hole and finished with a score of 71.
Just as Fleetwood made his last putt, McIlroy, who was playing with the number three player in the world, Jon Rahm, and the number one player in the world, Justin Rose, gave his young daughter a hug before going to the first tee.
McIlroy makes ‘good start’
McIlroy made a birdie on the second hole, but bogeys on the fourth, eighth, and 12th holes in the afternoon, when the wind picked up a bit, made him and the crowd at Hoylake quiet down.
But a 41-foot birdie putt on the 14th hole got the crowd going, and McIlroy made another on the par-5 15th hole to get back to even.
After it took him two shots to get out of a bunker next to the green, he made a hurried par on the last hole and tied Rahm and Rose for third place.
He said, “It was hard out there.” “There was a little bit of wind, and it was hard to get close to some of the pins. Even par is a good beginning.”
On the last hole, he left a shot in the bunker. He said, “I actually got lucky, because that could have gone into the deeper part of my footprint, and I might have been there all night.” It felt great to get away with a five.”
Wyndham Clark, who won the US Open last month by beating McIlroy, birdied the last hole to join Stewart Cink, Max Homa, Alex Noren of Sweden, and Shubhankar Sharma of India on three under.
Michael Stewart of Scotland, who was in the second-to-last group on the course, also made a birdie on the 18th hole, his sixth of the day, to get a score of three-under 68.
Clark was playing with Cameron Smith, who had “one of those up-and-down days” as he started with a one-over 72, and Xander Schauffele, who won an Olympic gold medal and shot a 70.
Scores are a surprise on the 18th.
Before the Championship, there was a lot of talk about the new par-3 17th hole and its upturned saucer green with dangerous traps. However, the par-5 18th hole had the widest range of scores, from an eagle three to a quintuple-bogey 10.
Rickie Fowler, an American golfer who just won for the first time in four years on the PGA Tour, hit twice out of bounds on his way to an 8 and a one-over-par score. Phil Mickelson, who has won six majors, also had an 8, and a double-bogey on the 17th put him at seven over.
And Justin Thomas, who has won two majors, finished with a score of 9 and 11 over, even though he was seven over when he started.
But think about Hong Kong’s Taichi Kho, who made a 10 on the last hole even though he was only 9 yards from the hole after his first two shots. After a few swings in a hole, he signed for the worst score of the day, a 12-over 83.
Jordan is a treat for early risers.
At 6:00 BST, hundreds of fans rushed through the gates to see Matthew Jordan, a local favorite who started playing on the Royal Liverpool putting greens when he was three and became a member at seven, just like his father and grandfather.
At exactly 06:35, the 27-year-old hit the first tee shot of the championship, which got a lot of cheers. His mom, Laura, said on BBC Radio 5 Live, “That was amazing.” Since he was a little boy, he’s wanted to play this course with his dad.
And after signing for a two-under 69, he said that the experience had been “amazing,” adding, “I’m running out of words to describe it. It was wild and loud and everything I could have wanted.
“I’m trying to think of something better than that, but I can’t.”