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Page last updated at 16:36 GMT, Saturday, 19 July 2008 17:36 UK

British stars toil at windy Open

Open Championship, Royal Birkdale, 17-20 July 2008
Live on BBC TV, BBCi, Radio 5 Live and BBC Sport website (UK only); Video highlights nightly on BBC Two and BBC Sport website

England's Justin Rose
Rose has not enjoyed Birkdale as much as he did as an amateur in 1998

Justin Rose, Lee Westwood, Paul Casey and Colin Montgomerie all fell out of contention at the Open as the wind at Royal Birkdale took its toll.

Rose had a nightmare round of 82, containing 10 bogeys and a double bogey to slump to 18 over for the tournament.

Westwood fared little better as nine dropped shots saw him card a 78 and fall to 17 over.

Montgomerie ended with a 74 and slid to 12 over, while Casey was also at 12 over after a mixed round.

Rose made his name at Birkdale in 1998 when he finished fourth as an 17-year-old amateur, but the course did not treat him kindly this time as he recorded his worst round at an Open championship.

Winds of 35 miles per hour caused problems for the whole field, but Rose's effort put him close to the bottom of the leaderboard.

606: DEBATE
"It's all the more disappointing because it's here," admitted Rose.

"I wanted to do well and I had high hopes. But I know how to deal with it. It was almost unplayable, some of the toughest conditions I've played in, and I'll take it with a pinch of salt.

"I tried my hardest on every shot, but I've been buffered around and it was hard to get it into the hole from two feet."

Westwood - who started with four putts at the 1st - admitted he wanted to get the tournament over with, and laid part of the blame for his performance on the weight of expectation on his shoulders.

The 35-year-old, who came within a shot of making the play-off at the US Open, was perceived to be in with a genuine chance of ending Britain's long wait for a major winner.

There's too much to do to concentrate solely on golf

Lee Westwood on the pressure on British players at the Open
"The disappointing thing is that at the US Open I went in with no expectations - this week that's just not possible," he said.

"There's so much going on, especially for an English player. It's just not possible to be low key.

"There's too much to do to concentrate solely on golf. I think that's part of the reason British players don't do better, but I think I can manage it better in the future."

Casey made an inauspicious start, hitting his tee shot at the 1st out of bounds, but otherwise showed real consistency in finding the greens in regulation.

"I thought I played very well after starting off with a double bogey," he told BBC Sport.

"It was a very solid round of golf. There were a couple of three-putts on the back nine, but I hit 15 greens in regulation so I feel like I played great golf tee to green in pretty tough conditions."

Meanwhile, David Howell had a day to forget as a string of bogeys left him with a round of 78 and an overall score of 15 over.




see also
Open day three photos
19 Jul 08 |  Golf


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