Eilidh Barbour presents highlights from the opening round of the Open Championship from Royal Birkdale. The world's best golfers descend on Merseyside for the 146th Open.
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Good morning, it is the first day of the 146th Open.
Hello, welcome to Royal Birkdale for the 146 Open Championship.
Defending champion Henrik Stenson arriving at Royal Birkdale in style.
He has enjoyed his year with the Claret Jug, he has even taken a jet
skiing, but now it is time for the competition to start again. This is
the 18th green at Royal Birkdale, on Sunday night in this very spot
somebody's life will change forever. They will be part of the long, rich
history of this great Championship. There are plenty here this week to
fancy their chances. The world's top ten are all here,
2016 US Open champion Dustin Johnson still top of the bile. Could Hideki
Matsuyama it come the first Asian winner? Despite his recent
struggles, Rory McIlroy is still Europe's number one. Henrik Stenson
returns to defend his title as champion golfer of the year. Nick
Faldo remains the last Englishman to lift the Claret Jug with his 1992
victory, but this week there is one Englishman in particular who is
hoping that former amateur success around Royal Birkdale will inspire
him to the greatest prize of all, Justin Rose. He burst onto the
scenes in 1998, from around this spot that he chipped in for a birdie
on the 72nd hole and a tie for fourth place, his best finish in the
open, but the Olympic champion and US Open winner has more silver in
his sights. Good luck, Justin, have a good one.
Over the bridge for the walk on to the first tee. Nothing quite like
it. You are always going to be a bit nervous. The weather today has
brightened up a bit, it had been chucking down, the wind is fairly
fresh, it will blow up at around 18 miles an hour. It will brighten up,
so we are all set for a really nice day on the links.
Hoping for another nice week on the links is Henrik Stenson, he gets
under way at 9:47am. Louis Oosthuizen came so close to a
second victory two years ago. Justin Rose is one of the home favourites,
Justin Thomas is one of America's rising stars. Brooks Koepka is the
US Open champion, having pipped Hideki Matsuyama, who tied for
second. They will have plenty following them, with the inform
local lad Tommy Fleetwood. Zach Johnson goes out with the former
number one Jason Day. It has been a struggle of late for Rory McIlroy,
but what better place to show the kind of form we know is possible?
Dustin Johnson is world number one, and Charl Schwartzel is much
fancied. Amongst the early starters was Ian Poulter, enjoying a career
revival. This would drop in on the second to
put him 1-under par. Another birdie opportunity on the fourth, a similar
length, and a similar outcome, 2-under par. He would drop a shot at
the par-3 7th. Amateur hobby plant gave the 150 travelling supporters
plenty to cheer about early on, his second to the first good enough for
an opening birdie. Henrik Stenson getting his Championship under way
on the first, hoping to replicate Padraig Harrington's 2008 victory
here, he was the last man to win back-to-back open Championships.
Straight down the middle for Henrik Stenson. Just two players under par,
and they are both Englishman, and Stuart Manley is in his first Open,
going along nicely. Let's get out on the course with your commentary
team. Thank you.
A good tee shot. Well done. Justin Rose's second shot to the first. The
dangerous par-4. A nice easy rhythm. He likes it. What an opening two
shots, to Rapier irons. Superb. Jordan Spieth found a very poor
light with a wild tee shot. He has missed the trouble and he has got a
fantastic result from not a very inviting lie. That has ended up very
good. Another half a dozen of those, you
will be in clover. Ideal tee shot. People try to cut it into the right
to left breeze. He does it delightfully, to the delight of the
crowd. Right in the heart of the cup.
Always nice to hear the cheer, particularly if you are a home
player. When he gets his eye in, there has
been none better. A bit of moisture on the fringe, it
has caught him out. A little down the slope. Fantastic.
He was runner-up here last time the Open was here. Lovely.
It is a tough day on the links, especially early on.
A good drive. A misdirected second. Cost a shot.
This one adjusting. Look at that. Magic. Nice outfit.
He plays plenty of golf, from Thailand.
Not many birdies at the 13th today. After two perfect shots, Hideki
Matsuyama. The world ranked number two, one of the best in the
business. Like Justin Rose, he starts with a birdie.
Colin tie. How wonderfully old-fashioned. In she goes.
Hacked out from the long rough after an errant tee shot. Lovely,
beautifully struck. He will save his part. He loves a big occasion. Nice
outfit. He plays most of his golf on the PGA Tour, from India. Very good.
We are seeing a few more birdies in the last hour or so.
What a beauty. Every shot has come out of the middle of the club so far
for Justin Rose. He must have hit an iron for safety, accuracy.
A few more birdies coming at the 1st. He has another. If he puts
nicely, he has got whole game. This is interesting. Across the
little hump, gathering speed. This can sometimes happen, you can
get a nice lie, this will shoot forward with the rescue club. Having
to take this length of club at the 11th today.
Look at the crowd, anticipating. Oh, yes. Dream start the Justin Rose. He
used to share a house with Ian Poulter, now they share the lead in
the Open. He is a bit of a live wire. Five
amateurs in the field this week. Alfie is the European amateur
champion. A narrow stance. Tied at the top with Ian Poulter. Very early
days, I hasten to add. He tugged it well left. Could have been worse.
Here is a tester for a man with a very good short game. This is
tricky. I hope he has not gone back into his splash mark. He had to be
so precise with that. That is a beautiful touch. He got
away with it a bit with the tee shot. Turned it over, went through
the air, but he should escape with his par.
Should be a green light pin from this angle, and it is. Tucked behind
the right bunker. The first is yielding more birdies
than it did two or three hours ago. He had to go over a little rich, the
flag got on the other side of it. Had it off work to save his par. The
flag defended well, surrounded by the bunkers. A small finger of
green. Took a skip on. That was very unlucky, just did not get the
cheque. He could have easily missed that on
the left. He scrambles out a par after an errant tee shot. The sun is
out and Henrik Stenson is ready. A great iron player, Maureen.
Absolutely superb. That was a good call! Absolutely superb he is, one
of the very best! Thank you, Henrik Stenson, goodbye! He has been
blowing hot and cold with the irons this season. That is one he will
want to forget. He pops it in. It is usually a
birdie opportunity, but Justin Rose escaping with a four.
Just a hybrid of the tee, went a huge way down here. A seven or
8-iron? The wind firmly at the tales on this
13th, and he has another birdie chance.
He holed out from the sand at the last with an eagle. It is great.
Stuart Manley leaps to the top of the leaderboard alongside Ian
Poulter and Justin Rose, in his first Open, at the age of 38. What a
way to finish. Thank you, I am in for some lunch now.
Stuart Manley was one of the very early starters.
This is your first Open, you have creamed about this for a long time,
and you are the clubhouse leader. It has not sunk in. First major, was
very nervous on the first tee, I am just delighted to shoot under par.
You said nerves, but what were you thinking, after waiting all this
time? I was try to go through my pre-shot, I had a few keys on my
swing, I got onto the tee, the rain is lashing down, my hands are
shaking, the umbrellas are going everywhere, it was pretty tough, I
was just happy to make contact! A wonderful 68. The little corner is
the fifth green and the sixth tee. The sixth is interesting. Ken was
down there earlier. It is one of the longer par fours,
499 yards, and it is a demanding tee shot. The dogleg to the right quite
hard. The bunker on the left does not come into play, but the next one
on sometimes does. It is the nasty pot that sits over there. The one
down the right side, 275 yards to reach it. It has a massive piglet.
Let's look at the tactics. This is the widest point of the fairway, you
hated 265, but from there you still have to have good yards to the front
of the green, or you take on the bunkers, which is awkward, because
you are coming across the corner of the dogleg. A demanding tee shot,
but if you get it in here, you are going in with a middle I am. This
bunker is the killer. It is one of the deeper ones on the golf course.
You do not just have to carry the bunker, because beyond it, there is
some really nasty, vengeful rough. This tee shot is one of the ones
that asks the question, do I take a gamble or do I lay back and go in
with a big iron for the second shot? A driver for Justin Rose.
Way, way right, that is horrible stuff down there. No one has seen
it, that is the problem. The most he -- that might be a lost ball. Henrik
Stenson did well to get it to here. A fairly flat green. Beautifully
read. Moving along nicely. There has been a drop for Justin Rose, playing
his third shot now. A long way back now.
What a shot, though. To the heart of the green, still with a chance of
saving par. It was not a lost ball, just a penalty drop. Seems to have
lost his caddy, though. There we are, fine, save yourself a caddy
payment as well. Looks very inviting. Downwind. Just
a nice, smooth toss up in the air. Bingo.
It will be a bogey. After his tee shot, that is not a bad five on this
ninth hole. He was in all sorts of trouble way
left of the green, he has had another one since. But he cosies
that up, he will get out with only dropping one shot. That is not a bad
result. Justin Rose keeping an eye on this.
It goes in, a lovely two. Go there and do likewise.
One of the band of friendly young French golfers making a mark. And
why not, indeed. Well played. A super long drive, 350
yards, a simple pitch, and there you have it.
It just catches the back edge, what a result of that is. Joint fourth
position at the moment. Downwind, no trouble getting there.
It could be good. Swinging a little bit more.
Consecutive birdies move the Frenchman of the leaderboard. Just
the one bogey, on the sixth. What a good start to the back nine.
Look at the wind whipping across, you must aim it to the left, as we
look back. All of the trouble is on the left. Play to the right of the
big scoreboard and hope for the best. He has gone well out. It needs
to come in a bit. A fine result. Well done, a good three. Very nicely
done. Co-leader. New leader. A lot of crowds out on
because, enjoying Jordan Spieth. Thing is hotting up as the
temperature rises. Fitzpatrick at the 17th, third shot, not far from
the flag. Got to chop this one up gently and hope it lands... That for
birdie four. Now, Stricker, can he match Fitzpatrick's? He can, he can,
he can. He has. Even better. Two glorious bunker shots. Front left
pin at the 6th. Ian Poulter's second. You see how tight the flag
is to the front end of the green. Two marvellous shots. Brooks Koepka
the US Open champion, enormous tee shot, thrown onto the green. A crowd
pleaser. A little bit of chubby on it. Fitzpatrick, having played a
beautiful shot from the sand, this is to go 1-under. Well done. Four
from 69. All downwind. Should be a pushover. Spieth, after that
magnificent tee shot pitching over Little hillock. Just see the top of
the flag. He didn't like it. As he tweaked it? He's tweaked it
horribly. For a class player, that's a stinker. That was a mistake.
This looks all right here, is going to remove a bit of the green
keeper's wonderful fairway, up she comes. It's missed the crowd on the
left by 40 yards. Ian Poulter, to make a birdie out of the hole that's
playing the hardest, the 16th. Just gave it a bit of a dart, didn't
he? This is where Spieth's second shot ended up. Well pulled to the
left. Pictures it up. Would you believe it? Almost cheating, isn't
it, you play one absolute stinker and then you play one that equals
the record. Just put down four. Fitzpatrick, third shot at 18. Down
in two for 69. Couldn't nudge it in, could he? She goes, will it run? No,
it won't. Not very good. This gives you a good few of the third shot of
Rose. Reeva into the tenth green. It. Quickly. Make sure he carries it
all the way back. Fitzpatrick. Now will this be his
final one? It is. It was a struggle, four at the last, round of 69 for
the young fella from Sheffield. And a very nice start to this year's
Championship. Matsuyama has missed a few chances on this nine. Thought it
would slip by, right again, last one finds the bottom of the cup. He's a
ball of fun, isn't he? Using the claw grip. Rose, this is to save par
at ten. If fraction too hard. I thought it would have turned from
there. Ian Poulter now from this very well used bunker so far today.
Just got to flip it up... And hope for the best. It's in! Good four.
Oh, Poults. Rose, to drop just one. Poulter's got this little nudge into
tie the lead. This is to get to 3-under and join Spieth. And he's
done it. Unlucky with his bunker shot. Down there enjoying the crowd.
He was in contention all last week at the Scottish Open and Ian Poulter
is right in amongst it at Royal Birkdale, fourth birdie of the day
for a share of the lead. He came close here around these links into
Gaza eight. Could 2017 be the year for Ian Poulter?
Looks like there are good crowds out there today. Russell down there in
the sand. It's getting pretty well, he'll have that for a birdie. Jordan
Spieth heading to the 12 hole. It's cut off from the rest of the course.
Ken had a look at these magical par-3.
The 12 par-3, 180 three yards. This little tee is set in the dunes, very
difficult to pick the breeze. It feels like it in this direction.
Have a look at these couple of flags here. This one suggests the wind is
straight into your face. If you look at the one I put up the front of the
tee, it says it's definitely from left to right. If you look at the
one on the green, it also blowing in a different direction, so picking
your club on this 12 tee is not easy. On the tee the wind often
feels it's blowing in a different direction, you've got to be so
careful, one or two players will stand on the top of the mountain and
throw grass, sneaky and you need experience to know it.
Small putting surface around this green. All pars so far. See if he
can avoid those bunkers Ken is talking about. So well guarded. And
he does. Russell Henley out of the sand. This is for four. He gets it.
Hennelly goes 2-under par. Alongside Manley and Alex Noren. The 18th.
Alex Noren. The couple under, this is to join the leaders. A bit
optimistic but you never know. Very nicely done.
Ian Poulter lying nicely in the sand. Did it at 17, can he do it at
18, you never know? Delightful little shot. Should make his par.
See if he can find a birdie. None so far today. All pars. Is he? He has.
There we are. Took a dozen holes to get going. The players champion into
the red. So to finish on the 18th, Ian Poulter, this for 67. A little
longer than I thought, this one. He's rolling those in well now. Ian
Poulter has his Mojo back, bit of confidence, the lowest opening-round
in an Open Championship for Ian Poulter. 67 today. Tied at the top
with Jordan Spieth. What a start Ian Poulter. Such good memories for him,
of course. Here in 2008. He won it, then Harrington came in. Alex
Noren... Winner of the PGA Championship at Wentworth. Another
neat, tidy round for him. 68. Good-looking leaderboard. Henrik
Stenson the defending champion, what chance of him repeating what
Harrington did in 2008 and defending his champion? Ian Poulter out in
front alongside Jordan Spieth. Talking now to Richard.
Welcome back to Birkdale. Nice to be here. First round, to go out there
and post a red number on the board, on a good, strong golf course, is
always great. It feels even better that you have to go through
qualifying to get here. Links golf is great fun. This golf course is a
test in the wind. You know, we're going to have even more of a test
tomorrow when we've got the wind and rain. Jordan Spieth here at 13,
wayward tee shot, the right. He's got a free drop. Somebody might have
stood on it. Great shot. What a shot it is. A little bit fortunate it
drops left in a pretty good position. That was certainly a wide.
Now this is one of five amateurs in the field. From Glamorgan Fife.
'S father, Stuart. Justin Rose, just slipped off the back of the 12th. On
the right line. Go, go. Just par. can Brooks Koepka get 2-under? You
can do more writing middle, the US Open winner. Two birdies and no
dropped shots. Under the first tee strolls Sergio Garcia, it really is
a stroll, a leisurely pace. Is there in plenty of time, the Masters
champion not too far away from his opening tee shot. 12 hole. Koepka.
Little bit of wind from the right. Oh dear, again, bit of fortune for
Koepka. We seen so many players down there. Back to 13. Jordan Spieth,
wayward tee shot. Three dropped. Not managing to convert it to birdie.
That one has trundled on a little bit. We've seen this putt before. Up
the hill, left to right. Easy to leave it shy. But not kept go. And
he joined the leaders at the top. This is his first outing since he
won his US Open. Jordan Spieth protected from the wind in this
alcove back here. They know it's here, from right to left. So well
protected by bunkers, this green. Right at it. The American challenge
is strong. Andrew beef Johnson. Side of the green. A side of beef. --
Andrew Beef Johnston. Back to one. He went so well last
year. At Royal Troon. Popular man with the crowds. James Hahn, the
American. Korean born. He's got the chance to go 2-under. Which he
takes. Now alongside Alex Noren and Manley. The golf ball has snuggled
down here for Rose. Plenty of room at the screen to allow it to
release. A flat surface. The ball trundled up there. Beautifully
controlled by Justin Rose. Super shot. Jordan Spieth to assume the
outright lead. It's rolling truly, it's rolling well. He goes top of
the leaderboard. Two wins already this year. Job well done. Ominous
signs. Jordan Spieth is informed. -- ominous signs for the rest. The
stroke looked good, just needed a little more pace on that line.
Garcia, what a result this would be if he could salvage four. It's not
to be. A very scruffy opening hole from the Masters champion. He has
ten top tens in the open, he loves this Championship. Not the ideal
start. Second shot for Brooks Koepka 113. Koepka hit the ball a huge
distance. This coming up nicely. Beautiful shot from Koepka, just
about a tap in a three for the US Open champion. Three birdies in a
row. Eurgh to the 14th. A bit of breeze from the right. Dangerous
bunker left of the pin. That's going to be awkward. It's going to be
horrible. Stunning approach he has set up a third consecutive birdie,
possibly for Brooks Koepka. Up to the top of the leaderboard alongside
Jordan Spieth. And ominous presence. Brooks Koepka alongside Jordan
Spieth at 4-under par. Brooks Koepka missed last year at Royal Troon with
an ankle injury. They are out in front. The Americans tied at the
top, Ian Poulter with 67. Spieth second to this par-5. Back into the
breeze. Here is this nasty lie for Justin
Rose. Get up! Hang on, and on. It might come back all the way. His tee
shot was on the down slope at the back of the bunker. There wasn't
room to get himself in there behind the ball. Stenson stayed shot of the
bunker. This is one that many a player would be quivering at the
knees at. That should be a birdie for Stenson.
Thank you, golfing gods. The gathering properties of these
bunkers are legendary. Third shot for Rose. It's doing its best. But
that will be for bogey. Sullivan. Young Andrew for a birdie. Opening
hole. A good second. Not bad. A good start.
Big putt for Rose, that. What a four, what a four indeed. Two out of
the bunker and he will breathe a sigh of relief. Spieth at the 15th.
Up she comes, and it's going to be... Thought it was going to be
better than that. Stenson. Tidying up. The defending
champion going along pretty well. Brian Harman. Just enough leg.
Winner this year on the PGA Tour. Gets him into the red. Spieth,
birdie putt, and it's... It wiggles past. A safe par. The good round
continues. Now, let's join Bailey, she sounds nice friends.
You're following Jordan Spieth around as they walk off the green,
no birdie from Spieth this time, but a pretty flawless card so far. It
has been he's made a couple of good par says, wonderful birdie putts.
Spieth has been near flawless on the greens. A little wayward off the
tee, so you'll have to tighten it up, but right now going well. Spot
of bother for Brooks Koepka here on 14.
Pinball wizard. It was a poor tee shot to finish there, and a very
difficult approach shot. He'll get relief from that and not be too bad.
Well, this group or leaked their tee shots out to the right at 16. Very
much in the lap of the gods as to what sort of live a draw. The flag
only six yards on. Very steep front up to this green. That is gobbled up
by one of the cavernous bunkers. Capital. When he won at Erin Hills,
he holed miles of putts. His continuing where he left off, that's
the most unlikely three. Poor tee shot, difficult second, great putt,
thank you very much. The Big Easy. Still easy, still making it look
easy. Welcome our friend's at it again, using a 3-wood or the like
from off the green. He obviously likes it. And why not? Why not
indeed? Third time he's used it, third time lucky. After a wayward
tee shot wide, Spieth has this to hang on to shelve the lead with
Keko. Turning, turning, turning a beautiful stuff, what a great par-4
save that was out of the sand. -- Spieth has this to share the lead
with Koepka. James Hahn's tiptoeing up this
leaderboard lies and quietly. And those tip toes are turning into big,
heavy footsteps. Up to 3-under. Very nice card today.
5th hole, birdie putt. Birdie got, well done, Ernie.
Little bit awkward now for Charley Hoffman. Might have been a lot
worse. A lot, lot... No, stop it! Stop it! Poor old Mark O'Meara took
eight on the opening hole, Charley just missed a fairway and got it in
for two. He walks off with two. Worth another look, dreadful drive.
Dreadful with a small D. Just visualising this putt up a little
tear. He's put it pretty well today, Peter. He certainly has. Up the
hill, over the top, down and running to the right. Rickie Fowler up the
slope at four. He has got the game to win the Open Championship. A good
shotmaker, beautiful wedge player and chipper. Had a run at the US
Open in the last major. Took a lot of time over that one. 5-under par
is the outright lead with one hole left to play, Jordan Spieth, look at
that for a card. Pretty chilly and wet early doors.
Koepka for par at 16. Getting on for five feet. Shot gone. Massive drive
for Justin Thomas, Miles down here, almost a short iron second to this
17th. He's a big hitter. Par-5. Does he like it? It's coming in from a
mighty height. What a couple of shots. Down the breeze, came down so
soft. You'll have that for eagle. The ball goes a long way when he
hits it. Spieth, probably an 8-iron, that
sort of thing. Can he finish with three? He's happy. Why not?
Justin Thomas after that magnificent second. Just tickle its down the
left-hand side. Come on, come on. Well done. Eagle three.
Come on, Spieth. That green looked beautiful. You missed it. It wasn't
to be. So only 65 he leads the way. So far on this opening day. A very
pretty card. Good, considering he's missed one or two fairways. 65. It
is par 70 here. 65 for Jordan Spieth. Outstanding to start two
shots clear of Ian Poulter. Spieth said it's the easiest major to win
because the weather can rule out half the field. Let's get his
thoughts. 65 to start things off, how good a round was that for you?
Very. We've been informed, I feel like the last event we had was a
win, so that was a lot of confidence. Three weeks off, I
normally start slow coming back from a few weeks off. Maybe surprised at
being able to start off this open extremely strong and not have to
grind too much the next few. At this course, at this open, the Open
Championship, specifically this golf course, and no conditions change
this entire leaderboard. So it's a really good start, I now it's coming
tomorrow. I know even par would be as good, better of a poor than
today. Important to get in the red numbers today. David Lipski trying
to get 2-under. Big swinging curvy putt. She goes. A bonus for this
American who bases himself on the European Tour. The familiar stance
of Matt Kuchar. And a familiar result, kicking it out of the hole.
Huge drive from Brooks Koepka on 17. Good balance. It looked like a
9-iron. Down into the bunker. Thorbjorn Olesen. A lot of red
figures starting to appear as the sun comes out. He's got the kind of
game that could prosper here. Keko knocked it in the sand. Up and down
for birdie. Beautiful. Yes! There is legal for Brooks Koepka. Leaps back
to the top of the board alongside Jordan Spieth. 17 throws up another
eagle. Brooks Koepka this time from the sand to the hole, to the top of
the board. Look how open the blade is, he has
to get it up so quickly. Onto the down slope. Perfect.
It has been an untidy back nine. That was tentative. That is a sorry
ending to today's play, which started so brightly, 71. The damage
done on the back nine. His good form of this year
continues. Three victories under his belt already. That is a very nice
opening round. Another gorgeous shot. I think we
consider him to be home in 32. He will be tapping in for along with
Jordan Spieth. The Americans are going so well
here. Three birdies in his first five.
Jordan Spieth had a 65, Brooks Koepka matches him. What a finish.
The US Open champion off to a great start. Watching that, Ken Brown,
alongside Haley Barbour. What a round, Brooks Koepka is right
up there at the top of the leaderboard. It has just got a bit
cold, I have put my jacket on. For Brooks Koepka, his first competitive
round since the US Open victory, very impressive. He comes here with
a lot of confidence, he won the US Open so well. The key moment was the
14th, after he got into bother. That kept him going. It has been
impressive. With his power, he has done a mighty good job. He is up
there with Jordan Spieth, going for his first Open. Another impressive
round for him in tricky conditions. Yes, the earlier you started, the
trachea it was. He did not drop a stroke, it was virtually flawless.
He missed one or two fairways, but very impressive. As they head inside
after their round, there is somebody just heading out, there will be a
lot of interest, because it is Rory McIlroy. He has had his troubles,
what do you make of his chances this week? He always has a great chance,
he has won four Majors, he likes this Championship, he has the a game
when he is in form. He needs a bit of momentum. He is a confidence
player, get a couple of putts, then see what happens, because if he
starts playing well, the crowd will get behind him. The start is vital
for him. The sun is coming out for him, he is the world number four and
he is going for a fifth major title. What to expect from Rory McIlroy?
Coming in off the back of a couple of missed cuts, the Irish Open and
the Scottish Open. An iron on the first.
Is that left as well? It is OK. Got away with it a little bit. The
American challenge is strong here, and so it is proving again, so far.
How pleased I due to have 65 to start this year? It felt pretty
good, it is nice to get back playing and it was nice today. I felt like I
hit it pretty solid. I just missed one short putt, but other than that
I am in good shape. It feels good to be back.
A beautiful shot. He hits the ball a mile, but a feathery touch. He will
secure his par. He has taken a drop off the edge of the path, he has
been pretty lucky. It was a wild flower of a second shot. Some silky
skills needed. I say pretty lucky, it could have been so much worse,
the tree and the thick stuff, but it is a messy start.
A big tee shot for Jason Day at the 8th. Flicked with one of his middle
wages. How did that stay out? What a shot. Just magical.
Out with the putter from this grassy hollow. Three different levels of
grass to come through for his first putt of the day.
Four played and yet to reach the putting surface. Such a neat action,
Paul Casey. Flying through the blue sky. It was
not that first thing this morning. My goodness. What a five. I wonder
if we will see that as being a pivotal point at the end of the
week. A good cheerful Phil Mickelson, as he comes on to the
first tee. It was a calming bogey for Rory McIlroy on the first. So
important, he is such a momentum player. The wind is straight into
you at the 2nd. It is a crackerjack. Lovely, left
side of the fairway. That may be the springboard he needed. The
distinctive style of Matt Kuchar. It is good for pace and four line. He
is known as Mr consistency, he has more top tens than anybody. Maybe it
is time for him to step up to the podium at the big one.
Very nice. Just hitting the safety side of the trouble. Paul Casey has
a bit more break than you might think, from right to left. It is
tricky to get just right. A birdie at the 1st, fourth and
seventh, if you are a home player and the crowd get behind you, it is
a real lift. My goodness. They are going in from
everywhere, what a great round of 68. Brandt Snedeker could not make
it, so he was a late entry. Rory McIlroy got one not much shorter
than this at the opening hole. A bit off his right hand side, not too
much break. He was going to take nearly all of the break out. Good
speed, though. Making the game look easy. The
afternoon starters just getting under way. The fast one has been
Matt Kuchar. A wonderful round from Ian Poulter,
in some of the worst of the weather. Martin Laird, the Scotsman.
He has hit it 175 yards and six inches.
It is rolling nicely. It is enough, just has enough energy to find the
bottom of the cup. What a finish for the Englishman. Dinner will taste
good. Rory McIlroy is a fabulous cheaper but he is favouring his putt
from around the edges. You can see he is in quite a swale. Not easy.
Quite a lofted club of the Matt Kuchar. He is dialled then. A super
iron shot. 4-under already. His woes will continue. I love these
trousers, I cannot wait to get some of these. I will never get them on!
He looks a ducky, absolutely sweet. You can look like anything when you
play like that. He is always smiling, Matt Kuchar. He does not
win many, but he makes about 15 million a year, so he is not doing
too badly, he just plods along quietly. The weather folks said the
weather would improve, they were right, and so has the scoring
improved. It was rather dull at around 11am, 12pm, but suddenly we
have this. 70 is a little falls for par, it is
making it a bit too difficult, but it is very good scoring.
He finishes in a blaze of glory. Another 67. Temperatures rising, so
is the golf, everything is looking rosy. Come on, Rory McIlroy, find
the green, for goodness' sake. Good gracious me. The world is
coming to an end. None of these great players hit the
screen with their tee shots. Rory McIlroy is the furthest away, 12
feet or so. Another one gone. This is a horrendous start.
Austin Connelly going well. Nicely done. First time playing in the
Open. Not the right angle to get at this flag. He garages it out. A
difficult line in from here, he has done well to get it on the green.
That is OK. It is good. A gentle dab over the
top and down to the hole, and easy three. This looks like Charley
Hoffman. What is going on? Five holes played,
4-over par. What a start he had to his round
with the hold second shot at the 1st.
Having skipped out of the thickish rough, this is a hard par-4. Where
are you going? He keeps leaving himself very tricky
little chips and pictures back again.
Very nicely done. A good start. Winner of the Scottish Open last
week. Here we go again. He said, have a bet on me, I am
20-1. They will be trying to get their money back, I would think.
He seemed to have adapted to the new rules not too badly.
He is playing more golf in Europe, David Lipsky, a good player, good to
watch. A super shot. Beautiful. Unforced error, we call back. Rory
McIlroy and company heading to the seventh, and Ken was down there,
carrying out his forensic investigations.
One of my favourite part of these is number seven. Elevated tee. A small
green, with seven bunkers around it, including this one with an island in
it, which is awkward. Because it is an elevated tee, the ball can plug
in it. Let's have a look at HQ bunkers. This on the left is one of
the deeper ones. It is quite interesting.
My Lord! Perhaps he sleeps their! He is off! Let's have a look at the
bunker on the other side, the smallest one on the green. Cheers!
Did you have a good night's sleep? Chuck a couple of balls in there. If
you get to the bottom, you get a half decent lie, but if not, you can
be in a tricky spot. Splash it out. Lovely sand here. You cannot teach
that! The short term macro that Ken loves
so much. They have not hit many greens. You
are not supposed to criticise them, but there we are, it's the truth. A
good position of the six T. That looks pretty good. A beautiful
shot. He did beautifully at the 5th with a
similar shot. Could not do much with that.
One goes at the par-3. Stellar names in this group, but far from starry
scoring. He was not sure about it. But it is
good to see him playing well, very popular.
A double bogey on the 16th. The youngster, 20 years old, presenting
Canada, brought up in Texas. What a great first round in the Open. The
former champion. Well done, Paul Lawrie.
James Hahn gotten when Brandt Snedeker had to withdraw, and taking
full advantage. Andrew Johnstone had a great
tournament last year. He was found in a bunker by Ken Brown earlier in
the week! How much fun did you have? Not much,
that was tough, I did not play very well. I struggled, I did not strike
the ball well, I was trying to figure it out. It is not much, but
it has been like that the last few weeks. I battled well, I was proud
how I battled. I got up and down a few times. Can I ask you about six?
I liked the look of it, I knew it was a wedge, sometimes you just
know. I went, I like this. I thought, be aggressive, and it has
gone in. Recently you ran into Ken on the course in a bunker at the
7th. He found me! What were you doing? I don't really know, I was
having a little nap! It was a long day, I thought I would have a nap in
the bunker, he woke me up! Surreal as always, with both of you on the
course! Enjoy the moment, thank you! And off he goes for a bit of food
and a snooze in a water hazard or something. Lovely to see a bit of
form from Ernie Els. A rare one from the middle of the fairway for the
Rory McIlroy. The elevated green. The pain just over the left-hand
bunker. No birdie. It is going to be a front
94 Rory McIlroy of 39. The part is 34, not good.
The weather is heating up, but four Rory McIlroy there is not a lot of
heat on the course. You have been walking around with Rory McIlroy, he
is just walking past, what is the body language? Normally if he has a
bounce he is playing well, but he looks uncomfortable, he does not
look confident and he looks under pressure. It has been a frustrating
season for him, he picked up an injury at the start of the year, and
he has to get used to new clubs and a new ball. He has been busy,
getting married, but all of that together, he is having problems. He
loves this Championship, you expect it to be like this, despite what has
happened? Know, and nor did he, he sounded confident before the
tournament, despite missing three cuts in four, Pico -- he thought he
could piece it all together, but maybe he was trained to convince
himself. His career has been full of highs and lows, he might be able to
turn it around, but he is running out of time this season. He has not
got his first start, he heads onto the tenth at 5-over par.
What a start, fifth in the recent US Open. And three, two, three.
He has to take advantage of this magical drive.
Like I bag of potatoes, right next to the flag. It is superb, how he
goes through the ball, crisp, tight, beautiful. It all looks so simple.
Charley Hoffman has been to the barbers since I last saw him, had
some of the flowing locks chopped off. It has not done his golf any
harm, going along very nicely indeed.
The putt for Martin Laird, this is for 67.
Just a little pacey. So disappointing to drop a shot at the
last. You might well have taken 68 if you'd offered it to him at the
start of the round. Now, could we be about to witness a rare thing at the
moment? A McIlroy birdie. Glorious tee shot, glorious second. Yes. In
she goes. Kevin Na. Tipped it onto the edge of the seventh green. In
she pops, couple of twos on the card. Hoffman. The posture may look
a little ungainly, but that was deadly. 4-under, and what good play.
Ernie. This is a very difficult little Swale at the back of the
green. Quite a steep slope in front of him. In she comes. Has he hit it?
It's going to leave him a tricky one. 3-under. Let's have a wander
down the leaderboard. Early starters, morning starters, Spieth
and Brooks Koepka round in 65. Very good together seven, he was out at
eight. Ernie Els has a putt at the last. To join them on 67. But it's a
nasty little five footer. Come on, Ernie. Oh no. So it's a dropped shot
at the last. 68 for Ernie Els. Very fine play in there indeed. Another
good tee shot from Casey. Great balance. As he eyes up the short
iron. Delightful shot. He's been pretty much whole height with every
approach shot he's played today. A good of there. Little bit of
semi-rough to contend with. Hoffman... Third shot at 15. Nicely
done. KC. After that lovely shot into this
16th green. Yes, well holed, very talented player. He's had his ups
and downs. Over the last 12 months. Very aggressive hit for the day. Cut
it into the breeze. Not bad at all. Charley Hoffman. This is to join the
leaders at 5-under. Birdies at 14 and 15, 5-under par. This is to hole
his second shot to the first. All eyes on Jason Day. Outside
chance for birdie at the last. She's trying, she's trying. Tried hard
enough. What a way to finish the Jason Day. This is how his card
looks. 69. Very satisfying. First look at Richie Ramsay's 16th, short
of the green. An unlikely one. Sergio, 4-over. Easy. 73. Getting
towards the end of the first day of this year's Championship Kang
players in with 65. A couple more might equal or better that. 36
players in all have beaten the par of 70.
KC at 17. There will be whooping and hollering if this goes in. This is
for three. A very nice birdie four. Schwarzel to this 14th. Two yards
off the tee. Dancing around the flag. Westwood at
12. Hoffman now. For par. Needs to
hurry, hurry, hurry. Shot. . Back to four. Schwarzel for birdie at the
13th. Very good second shot. Well done.
Well done, Lee, deserved two after that perfectly struck iron. Two
birdies, two bogeys. Little train ready to travel along the coast. If
every good service runs up and down this line the shoreline.
Incidentally, couple of days ago I had a telephone call from Mary and
Peter Thompson from their home in Melbourne, sadly Peter isn't that
well and will be making the trip this year but he wanted to send his
greetings to all his many friends who are still around, living in this
area. This is where he won his first Championship, first of five, 19 54.
A lot of people are thinking of you, Peter, get well soon.
He's had a couple of chances over the last three or four holes, to
claw back some of those drop shots. Certainly doesn't want to drop any
more between here and the clubhouse. Leishman involved in the play of a
few years ago for the Championship. Look at this! Certainly but the
indicator one. Birdie putt at the 17th. Out wide. Only par. Only par.
Everyone must be very excited about a possible 62. Matt Kuchar coming
under 18, he didn't birdie the last but he's had five already today in
an incredible round of 5-under par, his joint leader at the moment. He's
on the 18th about to play down towards the clubhouse. Remember,
five of the last six open champions all played the Scottish Open. Matt
Kuchar finished fourth at Dundonald last week. Paul Casey finishing off.
Well played, well played indeed. 31, 35, 66.
He was third at the opening 2010. Here in 2017, his third place
alongside Charley Hoffman, a round of 66, just behind Spieth, Kuchar
and Koepka. Of the in your round, how pleased
are you? Really happy, great to be playing an Open Championship at
Royal Birkdale. We've talked in the states, good results over there. So
happy to be back at home, proper open on the real golf course. Really
cracking stuff, so excited... We know weather is coming, so nice to
make hay while the sun is shining. 14th green, McIlroy. Birdie putt.
Hoping for a grandstand finish. Three or four birdies. A chance
missed at the 14th. Coffman for his par on the 17th.
Birdie on 16:17, and a very, very good round stumbling the close.
Kuchar, can he finish off? With a par-4? He can. 65 shots. 29, 36. It
certainly was a tale of two halves for Matt Kuchar today. Started off
well, birdie came on the second. After opening with par, a few early
cries of Dubai. He hasn't had a great relationship with the Open
Championship, just one top ten. He came to the par-3 4th. A few players
having struggled with the bunker on the right-hand in particular.
Gathering in some tee shots. But Matt Kuchar knocked it in for a
birdie. To the fifth, short par-4, once again the putter working well,
once again a smile from Matt Kuchar as he went 3-under. At the 6th
different par-4, 300 and 90 yards. From greater distance, but same
result. Matt Kuchar rolling them in from everywhere. Four birdies in
five holes. To the ninth. Second shot. Knocked in just about stone
dead. He would tap in for birdie in 29 to the turn. 29 going out, talk
us through your starter this year's open. Amazing start, something I
didn't expect, I was sitting at home watching the guys play in the
morning, anything under par looks like a good score. As the day went
on, certainly got nicer and nicer. We had our share of some tough
conditions early, but to go out in 29 is not expected. Easier to do 29
with only par 34 on the front. Only 5-under. A great way to start the
British Open. G-Mac Chris Read, two fours, what a great finish that
would be. Good shot. Par-5, two putts for a birdie. Jon Rahm at the
14th. Long putt for two. He's got it, he got it.
When you have two par-5s on the last four holes there is always hope and
Rory needs that hope. Good effort. Very good effort. Still lots of
support for the Irishman. Second birdie of the day goes on the
card from McIlroy. This is Kevin Na's fourth shot on the 13th. He's
in all sorts of problems of the tee here.
Bubba Watson at 14. He and Harrington seemed to go to the same
School of dancing nowadays. That was a beauty. Kevin Na has had huge
troubles here on 13. This is for five. It's not going to go. Double
bogey for Kevin Na. Bubba Watson, yellow green ball. In for two. Four
birdies today. A little off the right for Jon Rahm.
Well holed. Kevin Na teeing up on the left-hand side of this area,
trying to move this in from right to left. He is on the march. Write the
flag. Good shot from Kevin Na. Cabrera-Bello third to the par-5. A
little clip sound, little bit of clap. A lovely shot. He should knock
that in. 3-under weights. A man in form. I always love watching Kevin
Na. Generally a pretty good pot. He has a chance for two at 14 permits
on his way... Is got it, he's only gone and holed it. Well done, Kevin.
2-under. Coming out the rough, the ball sitting OK, but bound to come
out a little hot. Has he got a bit of luck? His second. Beautiful...
But that eagle three. On the right ledge of the flag he's cut. What he
could do with a 3-3 finish. Little chip over the bank, trying to
tease it down the slope. Schwarzel. McIlroy has birdied the 11th and
15th. Cutting down the spine, this could change his day. He knows he
hasn't hit it, you can tell by the early walk. How frustrating is that?
Right online. It's a birdie. He must feel he's climbing Everest, but he's
back to 2-over. Cabrera-Bello has been driving it
well all day. Lovely shot. Setting up a great chance of birdie.
Schwarzel, home hole. A little twirl of the club. That's why. Gentle.
That's just lovely. What a great shot in there. Landed it on the down
slope, got a bit of check. Great chance of a closing birdie. Flag
tucked right side. I suspect Rory will be going straight at it. Well,
that gives him a chance. Cabrera-Bello on 16. He birdied the
last. That gets into 4-under. Classy play from the Spaniard. Can Rory
find something here at the last? Keep your line. A difficult day is
just got a little bit easier for the Irishman. Somehow he's managed to
manufacture 71 out of the most atrocious start. Killer front nine
of 39. 32 coming back. Hope springs eternal. 32 ties with the best back
nine, Thomas Pieters. A game of two halves. Charl Schwartzel. Left of
centre. 66 for Charl Schwartzel. Equal with Cabrera-Bello on the
course and Paul Casey in the clubhouse. The last time the Open
Championship at a 3-way tie for the lead was at Royal Birkdale in 2008.
None of them lifted the carriage of that year. If Spieth, Kuchar or
macro manage it this time around... Paul Casey well placed after his
opening 66. Rafael Cabrera-Bello, the Scottish Open champion, 3-under.
And world number two Hideki Matsuyama just short of that.
Selected others to take a look at... Richie Ramsay 2-under par. A host of
major champions in Bubba Watson and defending champion Henrik Stenson.
Further back, Rory McIlroy, the Northern Irishman won over par
today. Let's hear what he had to say after his round. Five of going out,
4-under coming back, how proud are you of what you did? Proud of myself
for hanging in. I needed to stay as positive as I could. I wasn't very
positive. My caddy was a big help today. Trying to keep me as positive
as possible out there, trying to remind me I've won this before,
don't feel any pressure, just play your game and you'll be OK. The last
12 holes that's what I did and thankfully I'm still in the
tournament. Been down on yourself? Yeah, doubted myself. Really
disheartened, because again it's so hard when you see some good stuff in
practice and it doesn't quite happen on the course for you. The last 12
holes it came together a little bit better for me. And I can bring those
feelings from those last 12 holes today into the rest of the week. We
spoken about you being one of a handful of players around the world
who when you engage the one J you forgot you can do something really
spectacular. Do you feel you're close to that or is there any way
you can tell how close you are? And pretty close, you know, judging by
the last 12 holes I played, and pretty close. As I said, I felt
after six I was out of the tournament and looking like another
weekend off, but after playing the next 12 I feel I'm right back in the
tournament, it shows how fickle golf can be. I feel I found zoning out
there on the last 12 and I have to try to go with it for the rest of
the week. Thank you so much for talking to us. Ken Brown has joined
me in the studio. Day of two halves for McIlroy. Did use the enough in
the back nine to suggest there is more to come over this weekend? His
caddy must take great credit for talking to him to get his game under
control because after six holes he was 5-over par and I think in his
mind he was almost writing the tournament off but he's come right
back, in 32, birdies at 17 and 18 were imported. 71, still in there.
Padraig Harrington won here in 2008 starting with a first-round 74, so
McIlroy not out of it. There were better fortunes for a couple of
players. If picked out some of the best. Jordan Spieth it's a
marvellous irons, this was the second, in a spot of bother. This
was an absolute beauty. Coming out of the rough, landed a little
upslope and trickled past for three. Couple under after three. Played a
delightful round, no bogeys. Very impressive it was. Next on the list
of great shots was this one from Ian Poulter, he was out in the worst of
the weather early on, this was a little touch, nearly equalled 17. 67
for him. He looked to be back at almost its very best, particularly
on the greens. Brooks Koepka also found this bunker. He had a day
where his short game was just unbelievable. This was a special
one, like Poulter, this finding the cup. US Open champion, lot of
confidence. That was a real dandy. The shot of the day for me was
Charley Hoffman at the 1st. His tee shot going out of bounds. He came up
with this beauty, right into the heart of the cup for an eagle two
start. Brilliant. Incredible stuff around the course today. A beautiful
evening at Birkdale, blue skies, but the forecast for tomorrow is wet and
windy. It'll be fun for us watching but for the players, how much does
experience come into play? When it's wet and windy, particularly wet and
windy, very tricky, articulately for the caddies, it'll be an interesting
day. You might get luck with the draw but it could be a day that
takes you into it, or you could blow it tomorrow if it's really
difficult. Could be an interesting day tomorrow and the BBC has you
covered. We've got highlights again tomorrow. Five live are out on the
cause or they would live commentary on five live live text commentary
along with in play videos. The trio of investment live in perfect
position to pounds tomorrow, but America leads the way after day one.
Crutcher, Koepka and Spieth in pole position. Who can tame the links of
Royal Birkdale Wendy wind and rain rolls in. Tomorrow could be a
pivotal day at this year's Open Championship. Goodbye for now.
Eilidh Barbour presents highlights from the opening round of the Open Championship from Royal Birkdale. Recently crowned US Open champion Brooks Koepka hopes to shine again as the world's best golfers descend on Merseyside for the 146th Open.
This time 12 months ago, Henrik Stenson secured a dominant victory at Royal Troon, registering an Open Championship record score of 20 under par. Stenson became the fourth man over 40 to win the Claret Jug in the last six years, following Northern Ireland's Darren Clarke (Sandwich, 2011), Ernie Els (Lytham, 2012) and Phil Mickelson (Muirfield, 2013).