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Open Championship 1st round

St. Andrews is no ordinary seaside town – walking around the quaint little place, you get the feeling there may be a golf course nearby – indeed, nearly every shop you come by stocks some sort of golf gear, ready for players to take to the links. The 18th green is visible from the streets of St. Andrews, which were yesterday filled with spectators – why? The 2015 Open Championship has begun.

Johnson takes early lead in Open Championship

The overnight leader of this year’s Open Championship, Dustin Johnson, will start today at 7-under par, after posting a flawless 65. No bogeys, and an average driving distance of over 320 yards helped him on his way to the outright lead. Many were predicting that there would be nerves after he played himself out of the US Open at Chambers Bay, but there were no signs of this – even though he played with the man who he lost to, Jordan Spieth. Johnson seemed confident in his post-round interview, simply saying, “I did everything I was supposed to do, it just wasn’t my time”.

Speaking of Jordan Spieth, the 21-year old double major champion is off to a good start, posting a round of 5-under in some favourable conditions. Spieth started off with a birdie, which he said settled his nerves – this was clearly not just a show, since he went on to record 7 birdies and 2 bogeys. The course was relatively wind free in the first day of this Open Championship, and Spieth was asked if he learned anything new about the Old Course. He replied, “Not a tonne”, but recognised that if the wind did blow up as forecasted, it would “turn into a new course that I haven’t seen before”. Certainly, a new course will be played today, with the addition of several overnight water hazards. The rain hammered overnight, and continues now, meaning start times have been delayed until further notice.

Britain’s best challengers for this year’s Open Championship are Danny Willett – he is just one shot off the pace at 6-under par after a round with just a single bogey – and an incredible 2 on the par-4 10th hole. Paul Lawrie is also sitting on 6-under par – he was on 7-under for much of the round, before a disappointing bogey on 17 put him a shot back from Dustin Johnson. These men are by no means the only challengers, however. There are 11 players within 2 shots of Dustin Johnson, meaning this Open Championship will certainly be an interesting one.

At the other end of the scale, there is a wounded tiger. The man who has won The Open Championship twice at St. Andrews, Tiger Woods, shot a 4-over 76, carding 5 bogeys and a birdie. The first of these came on the opening hole, when he found the water in front of the green.

Author Eoghan Aston
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