British Open Live

British Open Live

IT Thu, Jul 19
 

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  • 10:40
    Royal Lytham and St Annes. ..It’s an overcast day in England and the course is begging to be whipped. But they have put bunkers where the players don’t like them. The Open, they say, doesn’t go to the player with class but the player whose turn it is to win.

    Step up Lee Westwood and Luke Donald for their first major wins…the great British hex is not just in tennis. Ok, holder Darren Clarke is British.

    The Irish are six strong. Michael Hoey kicked off at 7.25am and Alan Dunbar at 8.42 am. The holder Daren Clarke smacked his first ball at 9.09am, G Mac at 9.31am and Wee Mac will steps up at 2.21pm. Padraig rocks up with the surf dude Ricky Fowler at 2.32pm. Hang in for the ride until somewhere around 7pm and read Johnny Watterson's mildly twisted take on the first day from now until the close of business

    ….Did we say Tiger, in his whites, is dressed like nurse Ratched in ‘One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest.’

  • 10:49
    10.40: If Tigers win his career earnings goes past the $100 million. Wouldn't think it. He missed the green on the par 3 5th hole. Still he's 2 under.
  • 10:58
    10.55: Give it up for Alan Dunbar. The third player from the wee North to win the British Amateur Championship after Garth McGimpsey and Michael Hoey is +2, the same as Clarke. Hoey....eeek is 8 over
  • 11:03
    11.02: Have we told you is leading? Tiger, Scotland's Paul Lawrie and Adam - how is Anna Ivanovic's tennis career going-Scott are 2 under.
  • 11:08
    11.07: Brazil, India and Thailand, the Mecca of links golf....No...are just a shot behind the leaders. That's Adilson Da Silva, Jeev Milkha Singh and Thongchai Jaidee...all on 1 under.
  • 11:15
    11.15 Don't you like Bubba's cordinated colour combo with the purple bubble gum lettering. Bubba's swing makes every one believe they can play golf. Well, he can at 2 under thro' 7 and up with the pace setters.
  • 11:21
    11.22: Squire Aliss and England's golfing royalty Tony Jacklin is in the BBC commentary box. Jacklin sounds like he is wearing a smoking jacket and drinking a brandy. He's the Fred Perry of golf. For the anoraks the Hall of Famer remains the last English player to win the British Open (1969) at an English course. All three of Nick Faldo’s titles came in Scotland.

  • 11:30
    11.32: Peter Aliss has just cursed Luke Donald. If it stays like this - no wind- it could suit a player like Luke, said the sage. Donald is out after Harrington at 2.43. He's playing with Phil Mickelson. Fire and ice.
  • 11:41

    11.40: Don't we love Bubba ? After his victory at the 76th Masters, he thanked, in order, the Georgia Bulldogs (his alma mater), Jesus Christ ("my Lord and savior") and the host club's African-American locker room attendants. Bubba got himself in a pickle last summer when he played a tournament in Paris and couldn't remember the monuments. He visited "an arch" and a museum that "starts with an L." Once asked about Tiger Woods's pursuit of Jack Nicklaus's various records, Watson said, "I'm not sure how many Masters Tiger has won. Actually, I'm not sure how many Jack has, either." He did add. "I know it's a whole mess of 'em."
    He's 3 under, a shot behing leader Tiger.

  • 11:44
    11.42: "Still no wind," complains Peter Aliss. Perish the thought of a 20 under winner.
  • 11:53
    11.52: G-Mac is sneaking up. At 3 under he's on the shoulder of the leading pack. Tiger, Scott and Bubba are 4 under. The lowest first round score was a 5 under 65 in 1998 at Birkdale.
  • 12:03
    12.00: Tiger was 9-1 or 10-1 before he hit a ball today. He's now 13-5. Is he starting to believe again? Are we starting to believe again?
  • 12:08
    12.07: "Nailed a few of them in my life, "says Tony Jacklin. The camera pans to a cock pheasant in the long grass.
  • 12:15
    12.15: Don't know who has the worst gear today. Tiger 'Nurse Rached' Woods or Zach Johnson in his grey Pringle ensemble. Makes you think the tv coverage is in black and white. Still Zach is 3 under, two off the Aussie leader, Adam Scott.
  • 12:20
    12.18: Who is bombing out then. Michael Hoey with a 79 can't be happy. That's 9 over. Justin Leonard 5 over, Darren Clarke 3 over. Perfect conditions.
  • 12:31
    12.24: G Mac hits to 10 feet on the par 3 12th hole. A birdie would put him joint leader with Scott at 5 under.
  • 12:38
    Alan Doyle At least get her name right. It's Ana Ivanovic.
  • 12:42
    12.36: Thank you Alan. It is Ana. But Im so out of touch. It's actually Kate Hudson
  • 12:42
    Guest DARREN CLARKE IS IRISH
  • 12:44
    12.42: Darren Clarke has a Northern Irish flag beside his name on the Open score board. That makes him British but doesn't exclude him from being Irish. No?
  • 12:48
    12.46: Someone just said 'it's been a lively morning of golf.' BIG WORD ALERT. Is that an oxymoron?
  • 12:48
    Guest it makes him northern irish and a UK subject. The UK passport states the UK of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
  • 12:50
    Custo United Kingdom of great Britain & Northern Ireland. Northerin Ireland isn't in Britain, but it IS in the UK.
  • 13:10
    13:10: It doesn't matter what it says on his passport. It's what's in his head. Clarke could play for Britain or Ireland in the Rio Olympics. Pity he wouldn't make either team at the moment.
  • 13:16
    13:11: Paul Lawrie just posted a 65 Zach Johnson is 6 under one behind Adam Scott.
  • 13:24
    13:23: Scott posts 64. Misses a 20 foot putt for a 63. Two bogeys on his card. The long putter might be ugly but it has transformed his game. He's the club house leader.
  • 13:31
    13.28: Tiger has avoided the bunkers but not the long grass on 15. What's going on? He hacked out of the rough into longer grass. There's a million people saying 'I do that too.'
  • 13:36
    13.34: "Rain softened it up and there was no win." Adam Scott explains reasons for his 6 under par 64.
  • 13:40
    13.36: Tiger's sojourn in the grass costs him a shot. He drops to 3 under as G Mac drops a putt for 4 under
  • 13:51
    13.40: Lee Westwood said he wouldn't be available for the security duties at the London Olympics. He does have that heavyset look of a door man. And he's playing like one too. 3 over thro' 17. Dial in Lee.
  • 13:59
    13:53: Darren Clarke finishes on 6 over. Only Bradley Wiggins has had a tougher week than the Dunganon man. That's a full 12 shots behind leader Adam Scott.
  • 14:10
    14.07: "Very benign out there. The guys can take advantage if you can control the call flight. I really feel good about my game. I don't want to be cocky...today was a big day," said Ernie Els afer his 3 under round. Els was out early doors. Tiger's second to the 17th green shows the flag flapping. The wind appears to be picking up just as Harrington and McIlroy are due to set out.
  • 14:13
    14.12: Paul Casey. Remember him. The snowboarder who wrecked his shoulder in Colorado flashed a smile. He's 2 under after four holes. Welcome back buddy.
  • 14:20
    14.19: G Mac bogeys two of the last four holes including the 18th. But at 3 under he can't be too disappointed even if the last hole does spoil his lunch. In all honesy though, looking at the Ulster man you feel nothing could spoil his lunch.
  • 14:24
    14.21: Wee Mac hits an iron off the first tee which is eminently sensible because it is a par three 205 yard opening hole. He's about 12 feet from the flag, just off the green. Oosthuizen puts it inside Rory and Keegan Bradley to within 20 feet. A hot threeball
  • 14:30
    14:28: Tiger just rolls his ball slightly right of the cup on the 18th for a near birdie but shakes hands on 3 under for 67. Partner Sergio shoots 72 but Rose wilted badly with just one birdie in his round. He leaves dejected and four over par for the day.
  • 14:39
    14.13: Famous moments in Royal Lytham and St Annes: "God I give you a job to do and you can't do it," fumed Ian Woosnam all those years ago in 2001. Yes that's when he found out he'd too many clubs in the bag. The object of his abuse was Irish caddy Miles Byrne, who informed him on the second tee that there were 15 clubs in the bag. This came after Woosnam nearly holed the first. Naturally he was angry as it was a two shot penalty.
  • 14:44
    14.39: "It was kind of weird to be out there in shirt sleeves. There were some birdies to be made. It wasn't my greatest ball striking day but it was nice to roll some in," said G Mac after his round of 67. Easy to watch the major winner, a little harder to listen to that accent.
  • 14:51
    14.48: Luke Donald splashes out of the bunker on the first hole. The man many English people see as the person to bridge the gap back to 1969 when Tony Jacklin won the Open. No English man has won on an English course since Jacklin. Donald slips in a 7 footer for par.
  • 15:00
    14.51: Rory misses the second green with an 8 iron from the middle of the fairway. He pitches from a depression by the side of the green to five feet for a little tester early doors. He saves par.
  • 15:06
    15.05: Darren Clarke said he was “basically disgusted with myself” after starting
    his title defense with a six over par 76. But the Irishman did manage a wisecrack when asked if his mind had gone back to Sandwich during the round.
    “Yeah, coming up the last — how the beep did I manage to win this?” Clarke replied. Despite only one halfway cut made all season, the 43-year-old felt he had practised well, but after missing a birdie chance on the first he bogeyed the next two and was already three over when his only birdie of the day came on the
    10th.

  • 15:11
    15.09: The flags are definitely waving around more than they were this morning. Still Padraig Harrington is one under through two holes. Can we dare to hope for the Dubliner  who was tied 8th at The Masters and tied 4th at the US Open.
  • 15:16
    15.13: Wee Mac is definitely testing himself on the short putts early on. He leaves a long putt short on the third hole and again needs to drop a five footer for par. On the hole behing Ricky Fowler misses a tiddler to go one over. Fowler is playing in Harrington's group. Rory drops the putt. All safe again.
  • 15:19
    Chris Moylan With the whole Olympic thing coming around should the likes of G-Mac and Rory not feel obliged to play for Ireland as they have competed and won competitions as amateurs and it was the GUI who have funded them as young players?
  • 15:27
    15:19 For the Rio competition the top 15 world-ranked players would be eligible, regardless of the number of players from a given country. Beyond the top 15, players would be eligible based on world ranking, with a maximum of two eligible players from each country that does not already have two or more players among the top 15. Harrington addressed the IOC before they took the vote to have golf in the Games.
  • 15:47
    15.41: Three-time Open Championship winner Tiger Woods after a round of three-under-par 67: "I got off to a great start. I was playing really well all day but was lacking a bit of pace on the greens. I tried to make the adjustment but they were still dying off. I love this type of golf. It is so strategic, you really have to think. I enjoy the test, you have to be so precise. I am in the right spot at the moment, plugging my way along. A few of the guys have gone low early."
  • 15:52
    15.48: Good to see Paul Casey make the right kind of noise. Three under par thro' 10 puts the English man in the hunt. He shot 10 at the par 5 12th hole to miss the cut in the China Open in April.
  • 15:58
    15.54: Harrington in the rough at the sixth. Hacks to to 10 feet. Currently on par for the first five holes. But needs a decent putt to stay that way.
  • 16:06
    16.00: Bradley almost pitches in at the 7th hole - a par 5. He picks up an eagle for his trouble to take him to 1 under. Wee Mac birdies for 1 under.
  • 16:13
    16.07: Adam Scott is sitting pretty wondering what restaurant he'll hit tonight with his 6 under par. He shouldn't look over his shoulder though. The six players right behind him Paul Lawrie, Zach Johnson, Ernie Els, Bubba Watson, Graeme McDowell and Tiger Woods are all Major winners.
  • 16:16
    16.15: Ashley Hall of Australia is the last man to tee off. It took nine and a half hours to get all 166 of them away. Scott teed off at 8.42am.
  • 16:19
    16.19: Scott is still standing alone at the top of the leaderboard after a record-equalling six-under-par 64. The Australian equalled the course record which was set by Justin Leonard in 1996.
  • 16:23
    16.19: Wee Mac moves to 2 under par through eight holes with Harrington level par through 7, a birdie there following a bogey on the sixth.
  • 16:33
    16:28: Rory lips out for par at the 9th but takes his 2 under par into the turn. Big drops of rain are falling. Whatever he can tuck away now will be useful.
  • 16:41
    16.39: Harry Redknapp has been watching the golf from the hospitailty area.  "Been watching all the boys come round," he says. "I play every opportunity I get. I've plenty of time to play at the moment.."
    For goodness sake would someone give 'arry a job.
  • 16:44
    16.41: Michelson is looking for his ball in the long grass. He just shipped a double bogey on 7. His ball is embedded above a bunker but he's not getting a free drop. He's lying one over par, the same as Harrington.
  • 17:07
    17.02: Wee Mac bogeyed the  par 4 10th to drop back to 1 under par but instantly bounced back, spanking a wedge to five feet on the par five 11th. Back to 2 under for Rory.
  • 17:12
    17.11: This fellow Toshinori Muto has crashed into the top group. The Japanese player made five birdies to go four under. He won four times in the Japenese Tour but never outside his country.
  • 17:23
    17.19:  Wee Mac sinks a 25 footer on the 12 hole to put him at three under par and level with his mate, Graeme McDowell, who is snug up in the clubhouse on 67. And the chances of another birdy or two in the closing six holes? Got to be good.
  • 17:30
    17.29: Three reds and three blues on Harrington's scorecard points to an equal amount of birdies and bogeys. Level par going through 12 holes, he has come out of the turn with a birdie and par.
  • 17:41
    17.35: Spot the guy from California. That must be the fella playing left handed and wearing gloves. Big Phil is feeling the cold at Royal Lytham and is doing a decent impression of Two Gloves Tommy (Gainy). Its not working. He's 2 over par through 12 holes.
  • 17:49
    17.46: Wee Mac is lushed up in the grass off the 14th fairway. Luckily the ball is resting on the area where people have trampled down. He takes a whispy lash that would hospitalise most people. There's grass on his hat and the ball is just off the green. Good work.
  • 17:53
    17.50: Big hitting Nicolas Colsaerts eagled the second hole and has had four birdies, two after the turn. With three holes to play he's one off Adam Scott and the course record he equalled this morning. Big drops of rain are joining together. It's brolly time.
  • 18:01
    17.58: Out in 31 and then five over par in the last six holes took the smile off Paul Casey's face. It looked good for the struggling English man early doors. But the confidence just didn't seem to be there. The closing holes won;t have helped that. At one stage he was three under but ended with a two over par 72.
  • 18:09
    18.01: A fan is stretched by an errant ball. Did anyone shout fore. Does anyone ever shout fore. Did Rory shout fore as it was his ball. Wee Mac strides over to see that all is well. A young lad is sitting on the grass, clearly groggy. Rory reaches in to his pocket for the glove, puts it on and signs it. The poleaxed fan didn't actually stop the ball from going out of bounds. Or did he. Rory calls for the referee to make a ruling. It is OB. Wee Mac takes the longest walk in golf. Back to the 15th tee for a reload.
  • 18:12
    18.10: The teenage boy has bandages wrapped around his sore noggin. But he's cheery enough to hold up the glove McIlroy gave him for the photographers. Clearly visible is SORRY above Rory's autograph.
  • 18:25
    18.19: Two shots blown. Wee Mac won't like that as he falls back to 1 over. But hey presto, he takes out the Big Dog and smashes his ball onto the green at the 336 yard 16th hole. Stunning drive with an eagle putt wating.
  • 18:27
    18.26:  Rory gets one back. Moves to 2 under par. The long putt stopped just short. Good reaction to clobbering the boy at the last hole.
  • 18:44
    18.41: Luke Donald's card remains unblemished. One birdie and 14 pars leaving him at one under par through 15 holes. Louis Oosthuiizen hits out of a water logged bunker with a splat and a splash. There's his washing bill just gone up.
  • 18:51
    18.50: Big Phil is three over par through the 16th hole. Last week he started slow and then shot a low to mid 60s round the following day at the Scottish Open. Repeat of that please.
  • 18:54
    A 65 for the man from Brussels put Colsaerts into joint second place. Rory is two under teeing off at the 18th, Harrington decent enough at level par through 16. Justin Rose tweets that he was "minging" today.
  • 19:09
    19.05: Wee Mac ends his round on a high. He hits his iron to 10 feet and sinks the putt for 3 under par, the same as his mate McDowell and very much in the hunt. Smiles all round from Rory
  • 19:20
    19.17: Padraig is leaning on his putter. Its been a hard fought round but he hung in and ground out a score. A birdie at the 18th was a little  sweetener for a 70 and six shots behind.
    A morning start for both tomorrow.