by Jeff Skinner
Good things at day one of the Open Championship:
Rory McIlroy’s bogey free 66 was as good as it can get on Thursday. Now comes Freaky Friday. This will be Rory’s toughest mental test.
Tom Watson shows that links golf will always be his golf. The 64 year old shoots one over, 73. That’s great stuff.
Jim Furyk’s four under 68 has him in great position to continue the sting of forty-something winners at the Open. Darren Clarke, Ernie Els and Phil Mickelson showed that experience can pay off at The Open. Furyk is hoping it’s his time.
Sergio Garcia is once again in the mix at a major. He has some high finishes at The Open but his worst enemy is that space between his ears.
The Molinari Brothers, no that’s not a circus act, its Edoardo and Francesco playing the links in matching 68’s today. That would be something if they can keep it up and get a chance to be paired together.
There is plenty of youth on that leaderboard. Rory, 25 of course, but Matteo Manassero playing in his fourth Open is 21 and sits in second. Brooks Koepka (T3) is 24 and Rickie Fowler (T3) is 25.
How about Ashley Chesters, the amateur who shot two under, 70 and is T19. Steve Elling had the Tweet of the day “Amazingly, amateur Ashley Chesters is the lone English player under par. Sounds like a name from an LA escort service.”
Tiger Woods played very well after a poor start had him looking like the Tiger of old. Not the circa 2000 Tiger but 2013 Tiger where he wins but still sprays the ball.
The weather ay Royal Liverpool looked more like the tropics than England. I bet there are some heavy duty cases of sunburn tonight.
Bad things at day one of the Open Championship:
Bubba Watson once again shows that he can lose focus at anytime. He looked distracted and annoyed and links golf hasn’t sunk in to that hard head of his yet. He still has some maturing to do. His game is too good to be sidetracked by mental mistakes.
Phil Mickelson’s 74 wasn’t pretty but it could have been much worse. But Phil has some heavy duty rose colored glasses on. He says he never has it better. And he thinks he was putting well. I must have been watching another Open I guess. 32 putts Phil…32 putts!
My longshot pick John Singleton was a bit of both good and bad today. He had a solid front nine of 36 but felt the pressure of the moment and ballooned to 42 on the back. He said he loved the entire day but I need him to right the ship so he can make the cut and be the only factory worker playing the weekend at the Open.
Ugly things at day one of the Open Championship:
Poor Ernie Els and the poor bloke that took his opening tee ball in the jaw. Ernie was shaken up after seeing the man being tended to and went on to take a seven on the first hole. He three putted from two feet and missed a backhanded tap in. The injured man was admitted to the hospital and was expected to be released after treatment. That one hole may have cost Ernie any shot at another Claret Jug.