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Page last updated at 11:53 GMT, Thursday, 16 July 2009 12:53 UK

Broadhurst happy with Open start

The 138th Open, Turnberry
Date: 16-19 July
Coverage: Live TV coverage on BBC Two, Online and the Red Button, live on Radio 5 Live and text commentary online on all four days

By Ged Scott
BBC Sport at Turnberry

Paul Broadhurst
Broadhurst is ranked 85 on the European Tour

Warwickshire's Paul Broadhurst had the honour of hitting the first ball of the 138th Open Championship - but it was the rest of his round that pleased him at Turnberry.

Broadhurst, 43, is not used to starting so early (0630 BST) and he was further handicapped by a present from eldest son Alex - a heavy cold.

But after shooting a level-par 70 he told BBC Sport: "I'm quite happy with level par, but I'm off to get some sleep now.

"It was such an early start and I didn't sleep anyway because I was coughing, spluttering and sneezing and watching the clock go round."

He added: "I'm full of cold thanks to my eldest son. He came up on Monday with my brother-in-law complaining of a sore throat and me and my wife have got in it now.

"I couldn't honestly say how much sleep we got last night but I know it wasn't much. And I'll be out like a light tonight."

I hit a bad drive at the third, then I was short with a nine iron at the short fourth and hit a poor pitch

Paul Broadhurst

Although he coped with the pressure of hitting the first shot of the Open on such a public stage, the 1991 Ryder Cup contestant then dropped two shots in as many holes to be down by the fourth - but birdies at 7 and 13 got him back to level.

"It was slightly more nerve-wracking than normal," he said.

"But I hit a perfect tee shot on the first. I could not have place it any better shape. Then I threw it away at three and four, but battled back and hung on at the end.

"I hit a bad drive at the third, then I was short with a nine iron at the short fourth and hit a poor pitch.

"But I got one back at the long seventh when I just missed green in two. And, after a couple of chances round 11 and 12, then hit stiff at 13 and parred in.

"It's never going to play any easier. There's scoring to be had out there. But, for my game, I'd just like to see a little wind to help shape it."

Broadhurst and his group, containing early clubhouse leader Mark Calcavecchia and Michael Campbell, could at least be proud of setting such a good pace.

"Four hours and five minutes," he pointed out. "I actually wanted to get round in under four hours so Peter Alliss could have a chat about it this afternoon.

"But, at the end of the day, it will be five hours to get round, no question, and there's no reason for it.

"We were in a bit of trouble at times but, when we finished, the second group were about three holes behind."

As for Broadhurst's good pal Peter Baker, the man from Wolverhampton was immensely frustrated by a four-over 74.

After reaching the turn in one-over 36 after a bogey at the fifth, he dropped three more shots to come home in 38.

"It was a bit of a struggle," he said. "I just didn't play well enough. But it's The Open. You just have to keep going.

"And, while some people moan about the round taking five hours for the later players, I heard someone come out with a great answer to that - any tee time at The Open is a good tee time and that's the attitude to have."

As for The Belfry's Rob Rock, it all went sour for him in a three-hole burst early in his second nine.

Having parred his way to the turn, he dropped shots at 11, 12 and 13 in an otherwise bogey-free, but completely birdie-free 73.

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