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British Open: Spieth, Koepka, Kuchar share lead

21 July, 2017, 01:02 | Author: Rachael Silva
  • US golfer Jordan Spieth putts on the 3rd green during his opening round 65 on the first day of the Open Golf Championship at Royal Birkdale

Most noticeable was a hole-out eagle from the greenside bunker at the par-5 17th.

"Everything was strong", he said. But if his ball-striking and putting remain strong, he should hold serve and win his third major title. "It's just about keeping it consistent".

He is now hoping to have set himself up to survive what are expected to be gruelling wet and windy conditions on Friday, although plenty other leading players will be thinking likewise.

"I don't know what's better for golf, (but) from my opinion, it's very exciting when you've got to beat that many great players with that much confidence".

Poulter spent last year's British Open in a TV commentary booth.

"A lot of the younger guys are physically gifted, but they don't have the experience with links golf", said Padraig Harrington, who won his second consecutive Open - and from the "bad side of the draw" - at Royal Birkdale in 2008.

England's Ian Poulter is also at 2 under on the back nine, while another half dozen players were at 1 under on a day where birdies were at a premium. Avoid the nasty weather, and a player will have a considerable advantage over others who catch the worst of the wind and rain.

England's Rose says he is determined to "embrace" whatever happens with the weather and make a "non-issue" of it in his mind. It doesn't faze me.


Some might watch Spieth and see chance as an overriding factor in his success, especially so when he makes bunker shots like the one which ultimately sealed the most recent of his victories in CT. You get excited to play golf.

A pair of Englishmen had the early lead in their home tournament. His best finish at the British Open was a tie for ninth in 2012.

"Good guess", Koepka said. It's like make hay while the sun is shining.

"Certainly if I was a betting man, certainly not going to rule out Jordan Spieth", he said. "I hit a hybrid 328 yards though as it was straight downwind". Because you feel like you're hitting so much club. Koepka also got up-and-down from a greenside bunker on 18.

"I thought today's round was extremely important, as they all are", Spieth said, atop the leaderboard at a major for the first time since last year's Masters.

Six holes into his Open, Rory McIlroy was 5-over par and looking like he wanted to be anywhere else but at Birkdale.

"Sometimes you have to figures things out on the course and that is what he did today" was his explanation after the round. "Everybody's body is different, Tiger hurt his back and he hurt his knee, he should have realised he had a weakness there and taken it easy on those type of exercises but don't condemn weight training and exercises". And when he moved it, it was over the line of his ball. "Everyone up there hadn't won a major - Rickie (Fowler), Justin (Thomas), Hideki (Matsuyama)".

While experienced and highly-ranked major winners like Spieth, McIlroy, Dustin Johnson, Scott and Jason Day are realistic chances to add to their major haul, the recent trend has been for first-timers to emerge and claim their maiden title on Sunday afternoon. O'Meara's opening drive on the notoriously tough first hole at Royal Birkdale rode the wind into the gorse bushes on the right.

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