Thursday, July 19, 2012
Adam Scott puts himself in rare position
Stuart Franklin/Getty Images
The 141st edition of the Open Championship teed off on Thursday morning and the first-round leader, Adam Scott, took advantage of favorable conditions.
Adam Scott is the leader after the first round of the 141st Open Championship.
The former No. 3 in the world used eight birdies to post a 6-under 64 in the opening round, his lowest career round in a major. The 64 also tied the record for lowest round in an Open at Royal Lytham (Tom Lehman, 1996) and gave him his first career lead after any round in any major.
There's a long way to go, but should he hang on, Scott would continue the recent trend of golf major parity. Since Padraig Harrington won the 2008 PGA Championship, there have been 15 different winners in the past 15 majors (Scott would be the 16th) and the past nine have been first-time winners (Scott would be the 10th).
Elsewhere on the course, Tiger Woods birdied three of his first six holes and hit 13 of 14 fairways en route to posting a 3-under 67. In the previous 10 instances that Woods shot a 67 or better in the first round of a major, he went on to win six times with two more top-3 finishes.
Paul Lawrie, Zach Johnson and Nicolas Colsaerts finished the day tied for second, one shot back of the lead. Lawrie, the 1999 Open champion, tied his lowest career score at a major and Johnson, the 2007 Masters champion, broke par in the first round at the Open for the first time in his career.
The winner of last week’s John Deere Classic, Johnson is looking to become the first player since Lee Trevino in 1971 to win the Open after winning the previous week on TOUR.
Colsaerts posted the lowest round of his major career Thursday and is hoping to bounce back from his late struggles at the U.S. Open. He was tied for fourth at Olympic heading into the final round but finished tied for 27th after shooting a 6-over 76 on Sunday.
Looking ahead to Friday, Tiger Woods tees off at 9:43 AM ET and hopes to build on his play in the first round. Unfortunately for him, first-round success has not carried over so far this year. In 2012, he is -4 in the first round of majors but +13 in the final three rounds including a +8 during the weekend at the U.S. Open.
An hour earlier, clubhouse leader Adam Scott tees off at 8:43 AM ET. While Scott played well in the first round, history is not on his side moving forward. Only five first-round leaders have gone on to win the Open since 1975, most recently Tiger Woods in 2005.
Seve Ballesteros was the last player to accomplish the feat at Royal Lytham when he won his final major at the Open in 1988.