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leaders at the open

What they said: Hear from The Open’s leading lights at Royal Liverpool

We wrap up what some of the key contenders have had to say following their rounds at The Open

 

There’s always a lot to talk about at The Open – and the players have had plenty to say following their opening 18 holes at Hoylake.

Here we wrap what some of the major performers thought of their first rounds following a thrilling day at Royal Liverpool…

What the leaders at The Open said:

leaders at the open

Rory McIlroy kept his Open dreams alive – after surviving some bunker woe and nailing a crucial par putt at the last.

“I wouldn’t have been too happy walking off the 18th with a bogey,” he said. “Especially after the two shots I hit in there,” McIlroy said after his opening round.

“When you hit it into these bunkers, you are riding your luck at that point and hoping it is not up against one of those riveted faces.

“Jon [Rahm] and I did not have much of a shot with our thirds, so then you are just hoping to make par somehow and get out of there. Overall, two-over through 12, to get back to even for the day, I am pretty pleased with that.

“I needed to stay patient out there, it wasn’t the easiest of days, but I am still right in there. Go out in the morning and shoot something in 60s and I will hopefully be right in the mix.”

Read the full piece: Battling Rory McIlroy ‘pleased’ with opening round 71 after tricky start

Is Tommy Fleetwood ready for the throne?

leaders at the open

Tommy Fleetwood reckons his time is coming after his opening 66 gave him a share of the lead.

“I enjoy the game and I enjoy trying to get better and at the moment, we’re in this period where I have to be patient and trust in what we’re doing,” he said.

“There are times when it can go either way and it hasn’t gone my way yet. All I can do is keep working hard and keep playing and putting myself in more positions like that, and hopefully, it’ll be my turn soon.”

Read the full piece: ‘It’ll be my turn soon’: Is Tommy Fleetwood on the cusp of a marquee Open victory?

Lamprecht says he’s earned his spot

leaders at the open

An amateur hasn’t won the Open since 1930 – and Bobby Jones was one of the all-time best. But Christo Lamprecht’s 66 has him tied at the top and the young South African says he’s earned his place as one of the leaders at The Open.

“As an amateur, yes it is [surprising]. But in my own head, no it’s not. I think I am very hard to myself and I think I earned my spot to be here,” he said.

“The way I played today, I earned to be at the top of the leaderboard, as of now. It is not a cocky thing to say, I just personally believe in myself. Stepping onto the first tee, if you are a competitor, you should believe you are the best. I am very proud of it, a little surprised, naturally, but also I played good golf today.

Read the full piece: ‘It’s not a cocky thing to say’: Amateur ace Christo Lamprecht earns spot at Open summit

Home hero relishes Open-ing shot

Home hero Matthew Jordan said hitting the first tee shot at the Open was everything he could have wished. He carried the hopes of Hoylake into his first round and his 69 has him well in the hunt.

“I’m running out of words to describe it,” he said. “It was crazy, mental, loud, everything I could’ve wished for. I’m certainly trying to think of a better experience than that and I don’t think I can.

“Obviously with the occasion and everything going on to start with, I’m really happy to break 70, that’s one thing. If you do that, you can’t be displeased.”

Read the full piece: Matthew Jordan’s curtain-raising Open tee shot was ‘Everything he could’ve wished for’

What did you think of The Open Championship leaders? Let us know on X.

Steve Carroll

Steve Carroll

A journalist for 25 years, Steve has been immersed in club golf for almost as long. A former club captain, he has passed the Level 3 Rules of Golf exam with distinction having attended the R&A's prestigious Tournament Administrators and Referees Seminar.

Steve has officiated at a host of high-profile tournaments, including Open Regional Qualifying, PGA Fourball Championship, English Men's Senior Amateur, and the North of England Amateur Championship. In 2023, he made his international debut as part of the team that refereed England vs Switzerland U16 girls.

A part of NCG's Top 100s panel, Steve has a particular love of links golf and is frantically trying to restore his single-figure handicap. He currently floats at around 11.

Steve plays at Close House, in Newcastle, and York GC, where he is a member of the club's matches and competitions committee and referees the annual 36-hole scratch York Rose Bowl.

Having studied history at Newcastle University, he became a journalist having passed his NTCJ exams at Darlington College of Technology.

What's in Steve's bag: TaylorMade Stealth 2 driver, 3-wood, and hybrids; TaylorMade Stealth 2 irons; TaylorMade Hi-Toe, Ping ChipR, Sik Putter.

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