Wild and wayward Open opening

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STEVE PERKIN was watching as play got off to a wet, windy, wayward start at Royal Birkdale:

Ten things you may not have noticed from day one at the 2017 British Open.

    1. The first tee shot in the 2017 Open was hit by Mark O’Meara. It went out of bounds. His provisional went into a fairway pot bunker. So, with the wind blowing and the rain falling and playing his 5th shot from a deep hole, do you reckon the 60-year-old American was asking himself: “Am I getting a bit old for this?” He took a quadruple bogey and signed for an 11 over par.
    2. The first three to hit off, at 6.35am, were Mark O’Meara, Ryan Moore and Chris Wood. They carded 8, 6 and 4 respectively on the first hole. “Wood leads the Open,” said one of the English commentators as the players departed the first green. “By two,” replied Aussie commentator Wayne Grady.
    3. How refreshing to have the lack of statistics and graphics that makes American coverage of golf so torturously slow. But please, could we get the scores from others, aside from the leaders?
    4. The next time a commentator tells me to watch Matsuyama’s pause at the top of his swing, I’m going to throw something at the tele.
    5. Jason Day was wearing those tracksuit-type pants that Ricky Fowler first displayed. I’m old, so my days of having fashion credibility are long gone, but Jason, please, they don’t look good on
    6. Since 2010, an Aussie golfer has finished in the top 10 in the Open nine times, but none of them won. Does this make us due?
    7. After round one, five Aussies are banked up at one under par – Andrew Dodt, Mark Leishman, Adam Scott, Jason Day and Aaron Baddeley. Matt Griffin (square), Scott Hend (+1), Cameron Smith (+4), Ashley Hall and Adam Bland (+5), and Ryan McCarthy (+6) round out the rest.
    8. Cameron Smith, despite his poor score, was perhaps the most solid of the Aussies with 15 pars for the day. Unfortunately, he didn’t make a birdie.
    9. Ashley Hall was doing fine until he reached the turn. He then dropped five shots between the 10th and 12th holes.
    10. Ryan McCarthy, in his first Open, got off to a nervous start and was five over at the turn.

 

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Author: Steve Perkin

STEVE PERKIN had a long and distinguished career as a journalist, covering sport and general news and writing daily columns for The Age and the Herald Sun. He was also executive producer of The Footy Show on Channel 9 for three years.

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