There was little breeze at all at St Andrews on Thursday morning, a matter expected to change slightly through the afternoon.
It was clear early on that the conditions were flawless for low-scoring out on the Old Course and the 27-year-old Flordia-based Swede, who won The Memorial this year, shot out of the blocks playing in the fourth group of the day.
On Wednesday Spieth had distanced himself from comparisons from Woods – insisting those sort of assessments should be reserved for much later in his career – and on the basis of today’s opening round the 21-year-old was correct in his assertion, albeit for different reasons. With a weather delay of more than three hours, he will either finish his last round when it is almost dark or else have to come back early Saturday for a few final shots. He took two shots to get out of a pot bunker and made double bogey on the 11th hole.
When play did resume, Harrington took advantage of the improved conditions to shoot four birdies in a round of 69 that lifted him to three under par overall.
As the first round drew to a close the leaderboard was controlled by Americans, making up six of the top ten places.
First-round leader Dustin Johnson and Jordan Spieth, who is going for the third leg of the Grand Slam, might do well sleeping in.
Langasque is on four under after a consistent start to his second round, the British Amateur champion carding one birdie and 12 pars in his first 13 holes. “I don’t really dwell on those things”, said Johnson, whose most recent major mishap came with a three-putt on the final hole of last month’s US Open. On his way back in, the caddie for Adam Scott wasn’t sure there would even be a second round.
“At no stage did I not think I was going to tee off – this is the Open Championship“.
However, Spieth proved he is human after all with a bogey at 13.
Although he learnt his trade on the fairways and greens of Greystones Golf Club, Dunne attributes his rich golfing education to the USA college system which gave him the platform to develop his game.
“None. Never been over here”, he said.
“It’s always really cool to play golf in Scotland in front of the best fans in the world.” he said.
Tom Watson thrilled massive crowds here over the years, winning five British Opens and almost pulling off a victory for the ages when he lost in a playoff in 2009 at Turnberry. “He was pretty helpful”.
Merseyside amateur Paul Kinnear enjoyed a dream first day in The Open at St Andrews as he carded a two under par round.