Lytham St. Annes, England —
Adam Scott had a chance at history.
He gladly settled for tying a course record.
Scott equaled the lowest British Open score at Royal Lytham & St. Annes, taking advantage of prime conditions to rip off eight birdies on the way to a 6-under-par 64 in the Cheap Franck Muller Replica Watch opening round Thursday.
“It was just like a nice walk in the park today,” Scott said. “And it was not what we’ve experienced in the practice rounds. I’m sure there’s going to be some weather elements thrown at us the next three days, so just going to have to knuckle down to handle that. But I’m confident.”
He wasn’t the only one going low. Paul Lawrie, Zach Johnson and Nicolas Colsaerts each shot 65. Brandt Snedeker turned in a 66 as the light faded. Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy were among a logjam at 67.
“It’s pretty benign out there,” Woods said of the conditions.
Scott, a 31-year-old Australian, bounced back from an early bogey with a dazzling display – his drives accurate, his irons precise, his long putter reliable. When he arrived at the 17th hole, his score was at Replica Tag Heuer Watch 7 under, putting him in position to tie the record for lowest score in the Open or any other major (63), or even break the hallowed mark with a birdie.
Scott settled for par at the 17th, then took a bogey on the final hole after an errant tee shot into the thick rough. Still, he went to the clubhouse having tied the 64 that Tom Lehman shot at Royal Lytham in 1996.
Woods spent some time atop the leaderboard. He played the first 14 holes at 4 under, finally stumbling after he sprayed his tee shot at the 15th into the thick rough. He needed two whacks to get out and wound up taking bogey.
Still, he finished within three shots of the leader, positioning himself nicely for another run at his 15th major championship. Woods is looking to break a drought in the biggest tournaments that dates back to the Franck Muller Replica 2008 U.S. Open, before he was slowed by injuries and his personal life crumbled.
The morning conditions couldn’t have been any better for going low. An early sprinkle gave way to dry weather, the sun even making an appearance through the low-hanging clouds. There was hardly any breeze blowing in off the nearby Irish Sea, the flags atop the 18th grandstand barely rippling.
A host Replica Swiss Alain Silberstein of major champions took advantage. Lawrie, who won a British Open best remembered for Jean Van de Velde’s historic meltdown on the 72nd hole, was perhaps the biggest surprise. Masters winners Johnson and Bubba Watson (67) were right in the thick of things. So too were U.S. Open champions McIlroy, Ernie Els and Graeme McDowell, all at 67.
McIlroy rallied for birdies on two of the last three holes after an errant tee shot at the 15th struck a spectator in the back of the head, the ball ricocheting out of bounds behind a hamburger stand. He had to tee off again and took a double-bogey.
The 16-year-old fan, who was attending his first British Open, had his head bandaged up and appeared a bit woozy. Fortunately, he wasn’t seriously injured. McIlroy came over to check on his condition and give him an autographed glove that said “Sorry” and included a smiley face.
Not everyone had a smiley face. Defending Open champion Darren Clarke struggled to a 76. Lee Westwood, the English favorite and best player without a major title, got off to a sluggish start with a 73.
World No. 1 Luke Donald, who’s never been much of a factor in the majors, got off to a respectable start with a 70. But Phil Mickelson, the runner-up a year ago at Royal St. George’s, made a total mess of things at the far end of the course and posted an ugly 73.
PGA: Jason Bohn shot an 8-under 64 to take an early lead at the True South Classic before heavy rain halted play in Madison, Miss. Luke Guthrie, a 22-year-old in just his third professional tournament, opened with a 65.
U.S. Girls’ Junior: Casie Cathrea of Livermore won twice to earn a quarterfinal match against defending champion Ariya Jutanugarn at Lake Merced Golf Club in Daly City.
Cathrea, 16, scraped out a 2-and-1 victory over Karen Chung of New Jersey in the second round, then came back in the afternoon to thrash Anne Freman of Las Vegas (6 and 4). Jutanugarn, a 16-year-old from Thailand, cruised to two easy wins and will meet Cathrea in Friday’s first quarterfinal at 7:45 a.m.
Lydia Ko, the world’s No. 1-ranked women’s amateur, advanced to the quarters with a 2-and-1 victory over Nicole Morales of New York. Earlier in the day, Morales eliminated Kathleen Scavo of Benicia (3 and 2).