Leader Spieth's eagle helps him beat tough conditions at Open

23 July, 2017, 00:46 | Author: Garry Little
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Jordan Spieth prepared for mind games, Justin Rose said he willl lean on tips gleaned from Roger Federer, Rory McIlroy says he's a good bet and Henrik Stenson is anxious about skydiving with the Claret Jug.

Day 1 of the 146th British Open featured an American invasion on top of the leaderboard at Royal Birkdale.

Defending champion Henrik Stenson of Sweden stayed in contention with a 69 while world number one Dustin Johnson of the United States and four-times major victor Rory McIlroy battled to one-over 71s.

He finished with three straight pars to move to 3 under for the tournament. "But for me to start my British Open with a 29 on the front nine is a great way to start".

However, a different McIlroy appeared after the turn to grind back four shots, which included three birdies on his last four holes to complete an impressive comeback to finish his round at one-over-par.

"I lined up way left with the whipping wind off the left, just to open the face and have it get anywhere around or over the green", Spieth said of the shot.

He leads fellow American Matt Kuchar by two, who shot an excellent 71 in equally tough conditions.

"And it's nearly impossible to win in that circumstance".

Who is going to make you some money... "I promise you", Grace told reporters. You get excited to play golf.

When: Thursday, July 20 through Sunday, July 23.

"It happened so quick", Manley said, seemingly still in a daze.

"To be in after two days and be under-par for this championship after the way I started, I'm ecstatic with that", said McIlroy. I knew after it had missed that bunker it was going to be pretty good.

"If I'm mentally recharged".

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SOUTHPORT, ENGLAND-Stuart Manley was up part of the night tending to his 6-month-old son, and so nervous when he stood on the first tee that he thought he wouldn't be able to hit the ball.

"So in my situation, having been out there and posted a nice round, now I get to watch (which) is fun".

World No. 4 McIlroy won the Open at Hoylake in 2014 for his third major title, followed a few weeks later by his fourth at the US PGA, but has not won a major since and has struggled for form recently.

But after saving par at the 10th by holing a chip from off the back of the green, he birdied 11 and 12 and even got an eagle at 15, in between two bogeys.

Poulter's day included 16 pars, one birdie and one bogey, and the 12-time European Tour victor couldn't hide his delight at being back in the mix at a major.

He laughed at the memory at Royal Birkdale Wednesday, another who has realized the danger of bemoaning your lot and talking your way out of it.

MISSING OUT: Among those missing the cut were former champions Phil Mickelson and Padraig Harrington.

"Probably words I couldn't use in a press conference", the top-ranked Johnson said.

"It won't stop me from trying to win it, though".

Spieth, looking to add the Claret Jug to his victories in the 2015 Masters and US Open, admitted he felt like just staying on the couch and watching the action on television when he heard of the grim weather forecast on Friday. He said he picked up his clubs only twice after winning before coming to Royal Birkdale. Everybody can compete short and long hitters.

McIlroy has a lot more ground to make up, five strokes behind Spieth for the championship and just one better on the day, but given his recent performances and the streak of missed cuts, even getting to the weekend would have been worth commending.

In the 13 days between the time he got home and got on a plane for The Open, Koepka's golf consisted of that one round with his manager.


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