Amer­i­can trio Open accounts with aplomb

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - SPORTS -

“This is dan­ger­ous,” Spi­eth said to his cad­die. He aimed to the right of the hole to avoid it go­ing off the green on the other side and into an­other bunker, and it came off per­fectly about 10 feet away.

“That was awe­some,” were his next words to his cad­die.

He made the par putt — Spi­eth made a lot of putts and picked up a two-putt birdie on the 17 th be­fore nar­rowly miss­ing a seven-foot birdie at­tempt on the last.

It was his best start in a ma­jor since he shot 66 at the Masters a year ago. Spi­eth rated it among the top five or six rounds he has ever played in a ma­jor, not bad for some­one who came close to the Grand Slam two years ago.

“I couldn’t have done much bet­ter to­day,” he said.

Royal Birk­dale was much more kind than it was nine years ago in rag­ing wind and rain. The 146th Open be­gan in cool tem­per­a­tures, a light rain and a strong wind. Mark O’Meara, a win­ner at Royal Birk­dale in 1998 who is play­ing in his last Bri­tish Open, hit the open­ing tee shot.

And then he hit an­other one.

O’Meara’s first shot was lost in the gorse, he made a quadru­ple-bo­gey 8 and was on his way to an 81. His three­some re­quired 18 shots to play that hole. But the weather set­tled down a few hours later, and the score­cards filled up with plenty of birdies and ea­gles.

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