If Woo Kim starts well
The South Korean birdied the first to join the group in four low.
Channeling my inner Michael Fish
Yes, it’s time for a weather report…
It is currently raining, more mizzle than monsoon, but the sun is ready to appear just before noon. The wind won’t be blowing any stronger than 13 miles per hour, so once again the main defense the golf course will have will be those poked pins (and a look at today’s flags suggests they’re once again tucked away. .).
So what to do with Tiger’s first round?
“You can no longer walk through the rolling contours of St Andrews without pain, or even bend down to pick up a tee peg without flinching. As such, he has come to terms with choosing him as a ceremonial golfer.’
As we wait to see how he fares in the second round today, it’s clear that even his most ardent fans will have to admit that he will never be anywhere near the great golfer he once was.
Here’s Oliver Brown’s take on that first round of terror: Tiger Woods continues to fight as open romance collides with painful reality
“We are seeing more golf than ever”
That’s not what a golf fanatic said while in the galleries of the Old Course, but those were the words of none other than defending champion Collin Morikawa.
The American complained about the pace of play at the home of golf, with some groups taking more than six hours to complete their 18 holes.
It’s something every golfer hates and it certainly wouldn’t have helped Tiger Woods, on his feet for all that time.
This is what some of the players had to say about it.
READ: Matt Fitzpatrick calls open pace of play ‘a joke’ with St Andrews rounds lasting six hours
Selected departure times
08:03 Sungjae Im (Korean), Paul Casey (English), Gary Woodland
08:14 Dustin Johnson, Adam Scott (Australia), Marc Leishman (Australia)
08:25 Scottie Scheffler, Joaquin Niemann (Chi), Tyrrell Hatton
09:47 Padraig Harrington (Ireland), Thomas Pieters (Belgium), Keith Mitchell
09:58 Tiger Woods, Matt Fitzpatrick (English), Max Homa
10:09 Jordan Spieth, Jon Rahm (Esp), Harold Varner III
12:09 Ian Poulter (English), Jamie Donaldson (Wal), Guido Migliozzi (Ita)
12:31 Phil Mickelson, Lucas Herbert (aus), Kurt Kitayama
12:53 John Daly, Bryson DeChambeau, Cameron Tringale
13:04 Cameron Smith (Australia), Brooks Koepka, Seamus Power (Ireland)
14:04 Stephen Dodd (Wal), JT Poston, Lee Westwood (English)
14:49 Collin Morikawa, Rory McIlroy (NIrl), Xander Schauffele
15:10 Shane Lowry, Justin Thomas, Victor Hovland (Nor)
15:21 Will Zalatoris, Hideki Matsuyama (Jpn), Tony Finau
A reminder of what the leaderboard looks like
Playing his first Open, Cameron Young shot an impressive 64 to take a two-shot lead after 18 holes. But some big names lurk right behind him.
Eight low: young cameron
Six under: Rory McIlroy
Five low: Cam Smith Robert Dinwidde
Four bass: Scottie Scheffler, Viktor Hovland, Brad Kennedy, Lee Westwood, Dustin Johnson, Talor Gooch, Kurt Kitayama, Barclay Brown (a)
Tiger Woods against
For obvious reasons, there was a lot of focus on Tiger Woods going into this historic Open (for those who say ‘when is there no focus on the Great Beast?’, fair point…). How would he do if he hadn’t played since he retired during the US PGA Championship? Could his injured leg handle the strain of a slow round on the mounds of the Old Course? Could his experience of two wins on the hallowed streets of Fife’s ‘Old Lady’ outweigh his complete lack of competitive play?
Just 10 minutes after his 2:59pm departure time, the answers to all those questions were almost answered. Woods double-bogeyed the first, having found the Swilcan Burn, and while it was more than possible that he could recover those early drop shots, there was always more hope than expectation of that happening.
He went from four to four and, although he was able to register birdies on the ninth, tenth and fourteenth, he scored a round of six over 78, for a place in T-146.
It was a despondent Woods who spoke to the press after the round of terror.
“Looks like I didn’t really hit him that bad. He had bad speed on the greens, yeah,” Woods said. “But I ended up in bad places. Or just some weird stuff happened. And that’s how it works.”
He went on to reveal once again how important playing in the house of golf was to him this week.
“(It was) very, very significant,” he said, “all things considered, where I’ve been, I was hoping I could play this event this year. And I am. I just didn’t do a very good job of it.
“The crowd was absolutely fantastic,” he said. “Very supportive. They were very respectful and very appreciative of all of us today, which was great.”
Needless to say, Woods needs to make up some serious ground if he is to avoid missing the cut midway through two of his biggest wins, in 2000 and 2005.
“Looks like I’m going to have to shoot 66 tomorrow to stand a chance,” he said. “The guys did it today. And that’s my responsibility tomorrow to go ahead and do it.”
Based on the evidence from round one, only his most ardent supporters will back him to do just that. But he is Tiger Woods and if anyone can trace his way around this famous course when facing him it is him. But if he wants to get to the weekend, regardless of all the remarkable wins and records of his, it will be one of the most sensational achievements of his.
The Big Beast starts its second round at 9:58. Stay here to find out how he does it and all the action from the home of golf.