The first round of the oldest golf tournament in the world has completed play. The adage goes “you can’t win The Open on Thursday, but you can definitely lose The Open on Thursday.” Thankfully, most of our beloved former Bulldogs applied this sage wisdom.
On a day with mostly calm weather, but still extremely dry and fast conditions, the morning wave of golfers took advantage and shot pretty good numbers. There was the occassional 80+ score, but overall the pins weren’t extremely difficult and the best golfers in the world were able to get around in decent shape. The wind stiffened which made it tougher in the afternoon, and the lads seemed a bit knackered.
UGA’s Bubba Watson carded a 75. He birdied the first hole, but that was pretty much the highlight of his day. Averaging 2 putts per hole is never a good sign, especially if you hit less than 75% of your greens.
Brian Harman is tied for 32nd after a level par 71. He hit fewer greens than Bubba, but managed to putt a little better.
Russell Henley shot a tidy 69 in the middle of the day, bogeying only a single hole against 3 birdies. He is in a tie for 8th place.
But Kevin Kisner started early, took the lead early, and no one could catch him all day. Here’s where it’s interesting: he hit less than half the fairways, and less than half the greens. But he only putted 22 times over 18 holes, and that, ladies and gentledawgs, is how you get it done.
Friday TV coverage is on Golf Channel from 1:30 am ET until 4:00 pm (and decent streaming on theopen.com). So when you tune in at lunch, these guys have been on the air for over 10 hours. Here are tee times to keep in mind:
Bubba, from Bagdad, FL, tees off 4:47 am ET, playing alongside an Englishman and a Irishman. In Scotland. We need parabolic mikes, STAT!
Brian Harman tees off at 8:15 am ET. This is a humane hour in which to drink a Bloody Mary, make breakfast, and still have time to call in sick to work.
Russell Henley starts his day at 2:41 am ET. This is not a humane hour, unless you are dragging yourself to bed. Or starting the British Open After-Watch Party.
And the leader Kevin Kisner will put peg to ground at 7:53 am ET.
In case you’re wondering, here are scores from some of the more popular and highest ranked golfers:
Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas - 69
Rickie Fowler - 70
Jason Day and Tiger Woods - 71
Jordan Spieth, Justin Rose, Tommy Fleetwood, and Brooks Koepka - 72
Phil Mickelson - 73
Patrick Reed and Sergio Garcia - 75
Dustin Johnson - 76
Not a bad start for some good ol’ Georgia boys. And as always...