Open Golf: How the first group out coped with the early start

A mixed day for the championship's first group out

OF all the ways to start your Open Championship campaign playing five off the tee would be fairly low down on your wish list.

Local boy Lloyd Saltman, who was 15th on his Open debut in 2005, hit two balls out of bounds right to kick off his effort. His first shot cleared a 20-foot high screen bordering the tented village while his second was heard to hit something. Neither ball could be found.

The area is one of two internal out of bounds with the other being the practice ground. David Rickman, executive director of Rules and Equipment Standards, explained: “Essentially we have two choices; play it as out of bounds or as a temportary immovable obstruction. Our concern with the latter is that it gives free relief to any ball that goes in there.”

The Scot went on to make an eight before, impressively, making birdies at the 3rd and 4th but eventually signed for a 79.

I was up all night and and I just found myself being unable to get any sleep,” Peter Senior
Playing partner Peter Senior hit the first shot of the championship, straight down the middle of the fairway, but went on to make a double-bogey six, after four-putting, in a round of 74.

The 53-year-old confessed to getting little sleep ahead of his 6.32 tee time.

The 53-year-old had an alarm call for 4:30am but only went to sleep at 3:33.

“I played the US Senior Open last week and had a hard time getting out of there.

“I had to fly to Chicago on Monday, then to London and then here. I got here Tuesday and played a practice round on Wednesday. I was pretty happy with how I hit the ball but I putted awful, the worst I have putted all year.”
There was some better news for the third member of the opening salvo with Oliver Fisher shooting a one-under 70 which included six birdies.

“Each tee you’re standing on is just a battle but if you’re in the fairway you can attack the flags a little bit. If you’re in the rough it is really hard.” 

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