by Jeff Skinner
You have to love Rory McIlroys’ 63 to start the Open. No one has ever shot a lower score and Rory looked to be having a whole lot of fun out there. He’ll have fun tomorrow when he tees it up in the afternoon with a forecast of bad weather.
On the other hand, Phil Mickelson looked to be in pain all day out there. We spent the entire round waiting for him to get his first birdie. Alas, it came at the 18th and unless he pulls a miracle round tomorrow he may be saying goodbye to St. Andrews a bit early.
The early roars were for John Daly as he started with two birdies and a front nine 31. Daly easily could have been at 9 or 10 under as he lipped out three putts and burned the edge on another during his back nine. It was a beautiful thing to watch a calm and reserved John Daly smoking his way around The Old Course. His outfit was another matter. With a baby blue sleeveless sweater, pink shirt and pants that looked like he wore them to play paint ball, he looked like a demented maternity nurse.
Poor Paddy Harrington. He put his approach into one in the Swilcan Burn then jumped over it to take a look at his approach and he barely cleared the Burn. His opening double bogey set the tone for a poor round of 73 while everyone around him was going low. The two time Open champ had to be disappointed.
Tiger played steady golf on his way to an opening 67. His only bogey came at the 17th with is showing its new bite from the longer tee. Woods is in a group of very talented players tied at 5 under which are poised to move on Rory tomorrow.
The Road Hole Bunker Cam was my favorite part of the ESPN broadcast. The view of the best golfers in the world trying to escape from the baddest bunker in the world was awesome. Monty played it well as he got up and down from there for a double bogey. He had already felt the pain of 17 when his tee ball never cleared the garden behind the railroad sheds.
The ESPN coverage combined with the DirecTV Open Mix was great. Watching the ESPN Ball Track of the players’ shots, live on 17 tee was interesting. You get to see the path and you knew before the ball landed if they were in trouble or not.
Hey, eleven hours of championship golf from St. Andrews with multiple channels and broadcasters, ( I loved the International feed) it doesn’t get much better than that.