At the other end of the scale 14-time major victor Tiger Woods, who twice won the Claret Jug on the Old Course, had his worst round as a professional in the Open at St Andrews.
But it was Lingmerth, on his British Open debut, who made the first move with a lightning start alongside the Fife coast, rolling in birdies on his first four holes to lead. Having ripped a good old-fashioned shank to the the thick grass at the back of the 15th tee, where the group including early pacesetter Dustin Johnson and Jordan Spieth were waiting to drive, Lawrie flopped the ball high into the St Andrews and within gimme range.
“But just to be out there with him, just to be out there kind of playing golf with him, I absolutely loved it”. “My first thought was, ‘Is anyone at home going to take a picture of it on the computer screen and send it to me later?’…it’s kind of a novelty thing for when I’m 70 years old, sitting in a bar, having a pint, maybe telling someone that I led the Open”.
“I didn’t feel as much out of my comfort zone playing the practice rounds this year so I got to learn the course a lot better than I did last year”.
He gets touchy about that, and in conditions favorable for low scoring, he showed he can compete with the world’s best.
Seriously, his view of the putting surface was completely obscured by the back of an advertising hoarding and one of those giant Rolex clocks; can you imagine the bill for breaking one of those?
Irish amateur Paul Dunne had such an early start to the Open Championship his only hope was someone was watching to take notice of his excellent opening round at St Andrews on Thursday morning.
But he carded four fives in his last six holes to give three of those shots back, finishing with a sloppy three-putt bogey at the 18th.
Spieth proved he is human after all with bogeys on the 13th and 17th – where he found the famous Road Hole bunker – before holing a curling birdie putt from 20 feet on the last.
Goosen got to six under, as did 2011 Masters champion Charl Schwarzel and 1999 Open champion Paul Lawrie to briefly make it a six-way tie at the top.
Lawrie is aged 46 and ranked No. 346, and hasn’t come close to contending in a major since rallying from 10 shots behind in the final round to win the British Open at Carnoustie in 1999. “I’ll be refuelled. I feel like I’ve let the leaders get away from me now, so I don’t think I have to worry about anything rather than staying dry tomorrow”. I don’t have that in the bag, but I’ve played enough golf with him to where I believe in my skill set that I can still trump that mad ability that he has.