Friday, 17 July 2009

2009 British Open - Round 1

Five time former champion Tom Watson turned back the clock in the first round of the British Open Championship at Turnberry. Back at the scene of his 1977 classic "duel in the sun" success against Jack Nicklaus, Watson hit a flawless 65 (-5) for joint second place. The 59 year old golfing legend was prevented from coming the oldest man ever to lead a major by a 60 foot bomb from Miguel Angel Jimenez at the 18th. That unlikely birdie gave the affable Spaniard a record equalling low first round of 64. Kenichi Kuboya from Japan had an incredible finish of birdie-birdie-eagle-birdie (-5 for last 4 holes) to come home in 30 and match Watson and 2003 champion Ben Curtis on 65.

World number one Tiger Woods was out of sorts and struggled to a 71. Considering his recent form, defending champion Padraig Harrington positively sparkled on his way to a 69! On a perfect day for golf, it was amazing to see the number of golfers hitting into the wee burn guarding the 16th green. That bit of terrible course management usually meant double bogey. The weather won't be as benevolent for the rest of the week, so it will be interesting to see who copes best.

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