Conditions were ideal early on at golf’s 3rd major, the British Open. Light rain fell from time to time, but there was no wind to speak of. Players playing early took advantage.
Rory McIlroy stole the show on day 1 with a record tying 9-under par 63. He’s just the 22th golfer to shoot a 63 at a major. McIlroy’s lead is 2-shots over South African Louis Oosthuien, who sits alone in second place.
John Daly, who won 15 years ago at the Old Course at St. Andrews, got off to a good start as well. Daly, who has rarely even been in contention for anything for years, found himself as much as 7-under par before giving a shot back late in his opening round. Daly is one of five golfers at 6-under par, 3-shots back.
Tiger Woods, making the change to a Nike putter, hit the ball well in his opening round. He shot a 5-under par 67.
Then the weather cleared a bit, but the high winds came with it. Steve Stricker played the second half of the day and could only manage to go
1-under par. Phil Mickelson wasn’t that fortunate. He shot a 73 to finish day one at 1-over par. And Madison’s Jerry Kelly struggled from the start. Kelly finished the opening round at 7-over par 79.
The forecast calls for rain and wind in the morning tomorrow with some possible relief by afternoon. That setup would give the same golfers that golfed in strong winds today, the same conditions again tomorrow.
As Phil Mickelson said, if that’s the way it happens, those are the breaks. He’s had it go the other way before as well. But for Mickelson and Stricker to have a shot to be in contention, they need to catch a break with the weather. Kelly needs to catch a break as well, just to stay in the field on the weekend.