Spieth is chasing his third consecutive major championship after winning the Masters and U.S. Open.
And so did a familiar foe Dustin Johnson.
Tony Lema in 1964 was the last player to win a British Open at St. Andrews without ever having competed on the Old Course.
Johnson shot a 7 under 65 to lead all golfers.
He overpowered the Old Course with such a blend of power and accuracy that Johnson hit wedge into all but three of the 14 par 4s. Tiger fatted a couple early in the round, going off bogey, bogey on holes one and two-the only player in the field to do so.
“We are good buddies and we like playing with each other”, Johnson said.
This was hardly a two-man show.
His five-under-par score around an Old Course becalmed by light breezes, was two worse than leader Johnson who consistently belted his ball further than his compatriot. Woods has played four Opens at the venue, which is the site of both his British Open championships.
The real test might come from the weather. On this day, Johnson got the better of him with a 7-under 65.
Guys have been shooting good numbers, said Woods, a two-time Open champion at St. Andrews.
Woods’ last major victory was in the 2008 USA Open as a series of injuries and private life bombshells have shattered his domination of the game.
He hit his opening tee shot fat.
“It’s definitely going to be a brutal day”.
Strangest scorecard of the first round belonged to David Lingmerth, who broke 70 despite neither nine-hole score being in the 30s. The last 26 groups averaged 72.62.
The 30-year-old Ryder Cup star joined Spieth in three-putting the 11th amid the severe wind to record his first birdie of the tournament. The rain ought to hold off for a few hours this afternoon, but blustery showers are possible later.
Any duel between Spieth and Johnson is void of animosity.
Hideki Matsuyama could be forgiven for feeling like the odd man out in the duel between his playing partners, Dustin Johnson and.
“I’ve just got to fight, fight through it”, said a disconsolate Woods after his round.
He also knows what to expect.
“I’m very pleased with the start”, Spieth said.
It was slightly mischievous of the R&A to pair Johnson with Spieth, and the U.S. Open did not feature much in their conversations.
Tiger Woods meanwhile had another day of major misery and already he is facing a battle to avoid a third missed cut in the last four majors. He blasted out to 6 feet and missed. “I can’t really control it”.
Casual water refers to water laying in bunkers and fairways. I also expect that I can birdie each hole when I stand on the tee ” it just happens to be a different route”.
Lawrie, like numerous early starters, took advantage of what were likely to be the easiest conditions of the week. That puts them five strokes out of the lead, and still amongst the top fifteen favorites to win this year’s British Open golf tournament. Not just for one hole, but for the 18 – all knowing he is on the verge of creating history.