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Page last updated at 13:57 GMT, Thursday, 16 July 2009 14:57 UK

Dougherty off to solid 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

Nick Dougherty
Dougherty won the BMW International Open in June

Lancashire's Nick Dougherty fought back well with two late birdies to stay well in contention on the first day of the 138th Open Championship at Turnberry.

Two unlucky breaks cost him bogeys at the third and the sixth as he reached the turn in 37.

But the 27-year-old then made successive birdies at 16 and 17 to come home in 33.

"I'm happy with that score," he told BBC Sport. "But I also know I can shoot better tomorrow."

The Liverpool-born, Chorley-bred golfer, who ranks 16th in Europe's Race to Dubai, added: "I'm pleased with that, especially with the two birdies.

"I hit three wood and seven iron at 16, then holed a putt of about 40 feet, then I hit a good tee shot on the long 17th, hit my rescue to 30 feet and two-putted.

"But probably my best shot of the day was when I dropped only one shot at the sixth.

"I hit a four iron which was bang on line but it shot left and went into a bunker and I did well to get it out.

"I also had bad luck at the third when my approach only just caught the bunker. It was a little unfortunate but that's links golf. It happens sometimes and you have to take the rough with the smooth."

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