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Right, I'm going to wrap this up... thanks for reading, Sam Lyon
will be with you on the morrow.
Bit of a messy finish from Freddie Jacobsen of Sweden - he was riding high at four under with three to play, but was rather deflated by a triple at 16, before a bogey at 18 left him with a level-par 70. Oliver Fisher of England has had a disastrous opening round, he's eight over after 15.
2014: "Does the sight of a 59-year-old golfer leading The Open till late in the day prove what a lot of us have been saying all along, that Tiger has won his majors playing against journeyman golfers who have no clue how to win a major?" bendigo on 606
A truly remarkable outburst from bendigo
below. Yes, down with all those journeyman golfers Tiger's been lording it over down the years, like Phil Mickelson... and Vijay Singh... and Ernie Els... and Padraig Harrington... and Sergio Garcia... oh, and Jim Furyk...
Tom Lehman, the 1997 Open champion, is in with a 68. Peter Baker still toiling away - he's three over after 16... the sad thing is, I remember when he was the bright young thing of British golf...
I no longer have any pictures, in case you're wondering why I'm not writing anything any more. Shot of the day? Goosen out of the bunker at 17. Bending on one knee, right foot in the sand, bal to within a few feet. Tiger gone? You get the feeling you had to fill your boots today, the wind is set to be up at the weekend. Not many Brits at the top of the leaderboard, but there are a few lurking at two under. Monty v Lyle has reared it's ugly head again, that's going to run and run...
Of the players still out on the course, Tom Lehman is three under with one to play, South Africa's Richard Sterne is two under after 16, Terry Pilkadaris of Australia is also two under after 11, but most of the big boys are back in the barracks.
Daly, who looks a little bit like a pint of mojito, rolls his lengthy par putt by, but he should stick that in for a 68. Francesco Molinari drops back to one under after a double at 16. Daly is in for 68, and his missus loves that. Paul McGinley of Ireland in with a 69.
Still quite a few players out on the course, and John Daly is right in among the leaders... oh my days, he's gone and stuck his ball into some cabbage front right of 18. He slashes out, but he's got a brute of a putt for par.
Paul Lawrie, the 1999 champion, is in with a 71. Freddie Jacobsen makes a fine save at 16, although it was for a triple. The Swede is back to one under. Davis Love makes birdie at the last for a round of 69, including a back nine covered in 32.
Is there anyone in the world who wouldn't want Miguel Angel Jimenez as their favourite uncle? Stogies galore, Rioja by the bucketfall, he's the sort of bloke who'd end up holding court at your 18th birthday party, despite the fact that most of your mates wouldn't have a clue what he was talking about.
Jacobsen is the latest to go after the pin at 16, and the latest to see his ball gobbled up by Wilson's Burn. Daly for eagle at 17, but it darts an inch to the left. He's three under though... Jacobsen finally on at 16, but he's got a 10-footer for a triple...
Hit it, Padraig! He leaves his birdie putt short at 18, but he's in with a very respectable 69. He'll have bitten your hand off it you'd offered him that before the start of play.
Ogilvy to within a couple of inches with his fourth at 18, but that will be another shot gone for the Aussie. Molinari of Italy three-putts at 15 to drop back to three under, before Furyk leaves his birdie putt left of the hole at 18. The American in for a 67, plenty of money will be poured on him this evening.
Furyk safely on in two at 18, as is Padraig. He'll have a 15-footer across the green for a round of 68. John Daly hits a doozy of a second into the par-five 17th - he only needs a three wood and a nine iron - and he's got an eagle putt to get to four under.
Lawrie leaves his eagle putt short at 17, but he taps in to get back to one under. Plenty of old heads strutting their stuff as the evening draws in, and here's Tom Lehman making a monster birdie putt disappear at 16 to move to three under.
Paul Lawrie, champion in 1999, is two over after 16. He's playing with Davis Love, who's playing in his 23rd successive Open, has a lengthy birdie putt, but comes up short to stay level.
Angel Cabrera, the Masters champion, is in with a 69. Harrington has muscled his drive down the right of the 18th fairway, no dramas there. John Daly at 17, and he's absolutely clobbered a three wood down the middle. The 1995 champion is two under. Jacobsen of Sweden makes par at 15 to stay four under.
Harrington with a rather meek birdie putt at 17, he'll pop that in for yet another par. Ogilvy almost back to three over, but his ball dives right at the last second. Paul Casey, the world number three, pars 18 to finish with a 68. He's joint top-Briton with McDowell, Westwood, David Howell and Anthony Wall. Furyk makes birdie at 17, he's three under.
Ogilvy has got an almost exact replica of Goosen's bunker shot at 17 - one knee down on the edge, and he gets almost as good a result, sending his ball vertical and to within 15 feet of the flag. Furyk leaves his long eagle putt short, he'll have a birdie putt to go three under. Freddie Jacobsen, four under, unfurls a beauty at the par-three 15th.
Ogilvy, who's four over, tugs his second at 17 into a green-side bunker. Furyk has found the front edge in two, and Harrington pulls out a gem, he'll have a makeable eagle putt.
The handbags are out again! Sandy Lyle has reignited his feud with fellow Scot Colin Montgomerie, calling him a "drama queen" in an interview on 5 Live. I think Sandy's got a point, I've always thought Monty would make a delightful Widow Twanky.
JB Holmes of the United States with a save at the last, he's in with a 68. Not a great day for Poulter - five-under outfit, five-over round...
Casey with a fine save at 17 after that bunker disaster, he stays two under. Jimenez with a 22-yard putt for a 64 and the outright lead... WHAT A PUTT! The Spaniard all in beige, but there was nothing beige about that putt. Flawless card, six birdies, no bogeys, uncork the Rioja.
Italian Francesco Molinari birdies 12 to join the group on four under. And I'm handing back to Dirsy with Paul Casey in all sorts of bother in the bunker on 17. So much trouble I'm ending with a Brit down graphic. Cheerio.
Italian Francesco Molinari birdies 12 to join the group on four under. And I'm handing back to Dirsy with Paul Casey in all sorts of bother in the bunker on 17. So much trouble I'm ending with a Brit down graphic. Cheerio.
Harrington does really well to get out of the rough stuff, but he's got a tricky 12-footer for par at 16. Jimenez trickles on to the cusp of the green at 18 - two putts for a 65.
Ian Poulter, of course, is five over - not under. Only a clown would get that wrong. Paul Casey's another disappointment this afternoon, even though he's still two under, it could have been a whole lot better.
Padraig Harrington, presumably scared witless of ending up in the burn at 16, sends his tee shot a country mile left - it probably would have missed another green. He'll do well to get up and down from there.
Top stuff from Miguel Angel Jimenez, he's got a monster for eagle at the 17th, makes sure he gets it nice and close and then rocks in a four-footer for birdie to join the leaders on five under. Almost time to whack the cigar out.
The horror show continues for Ian Poulter, and I'm not talking about his choice of kit. He's off the green at 17 in thick rough and chips into the middle of the green, still miles away from the flag. He's five over, and I wouldn't bet on him making the cut this time tomorrow.
After a brilliant approach to the 15th, Padraig Harrington watches his birdie putt curl agonisingly around the hole, steadfastly refusing to drop. He stays on one-under and no-one - but no-one - will be discounting the three-time major winner.
Desperately close for young Rory McIlroy at the 18th, he trickles a 20-footer fractionally wide on the left and he has to settle for a 69 after five birdies, two bogeys and a double. Entertaining as always. Retief Goosen drops his birdie putt a touch short and he walks off with a promising 67 in the bag.
Soren Hansen slides a putt just past at 17, so he stays in with another lengthy group on three under. Among them is a certain John Daly, who for all manner of reasons would be a ludicrously popular champion.
As things stand, the great Tom Watson and fellow yank Ben Curtis lead the Open on five-under - and contrary to what dear old Watson was expecting earlier, there aren't an awful lot of players threatening them right now. South African Richard Sterne has birdied the 11th, however, to join seven other players on four under.
See 1800 - he was, you know. As it trickled closer to the hole, there were all manner of noises emitting from the boys in the office. Anyway, it's Stevo for a little while now, while Dirsy smashes down pie and mash or whatever's on offer in the canteen. Monty finishes with a birdie to shoot a 71, one over. Oh, manually refresh if you want the name change at the top, I couldn't care less frankly.
"I enjoyed it - we don't get to play courses like this very often. Every year when they bring out the schedule, this is the tournament you always look for first to see where it's going to be played. I've won it before, so I definitely believe I can win it again."Open co-leader Ben Curtis
Justin Rose, with a new coach on board, pars the last for a round of 69, as Argentina's Andres Romero rolls in for a 68. Great stuff from Goosen, he ducks back to three under with a birdie putt to go with that miracle sand escape. Jimenez into the 16th - safe, steering well clear of Wilson's Burn...
Mark O'Meara, the 1998 Open champion, carded a 67 today, as did dear old Boo Weekley. Americans swarming all over the leaderboard - two at the top and they run through it like a stick of rock. Freddie Jacobsen birdies 11 to move to four under. Goosen in a whole world of trouble at 17, kneeling on the edge of the bunker, but he very nearly holes it. I would have had to do all sorts of unseemly things if he'd stuck that in, I was promising my work-mates the world.
Kim thrashing out of the rough at 17 - strange shot, he's in more nasty stuff. McIlroy with a long iron, but that's wild, and he'll have a horrible shot chipping over the bunker to the left.
Casey's second to the 14th is out of the light cabbage... and into the deep stuff short and right... Soren Hansen's bogey putt starts left and stays left, that's two shots gone at 16, he's back to three under... Jimenez's birdie putt at 15 just dives to the right at the last moment, the Spaniard stays four under.
Harrington just misses to the right with his 15-foot birdie putt at 13 - still one birdie, still one under. That's not a great third from Hansen at 16, he's got a 35-footer to drop just one shot. Furyk tugs his birdie putt left at 13, he stays one under.
Soren Hansen has also found the burn at 16 - going straight at the pin, that's really not particularly clever. Hansen, incidentally, is playing with 2004 champion Todd Hamilton, and he's seven over. McIlroy, as we suspected might happen, has ding-donged his drive down the 17th.
McIlroy with a 30-footer for birdie at 16, he's back to one under and he'll be frothing at the bit to get to the par-five 17th. Els drops a shot at the last to fall back to one under. Goosen pars 16 to stay two under, Kim makes double bogey to drop back to four over, and Casey leaves his birdie putt at 13 just high to stay three under.
Els has got a swine of a birdie putt at 18, almost impossible to get it close over the hump... good effort, but it races 10 feet by. Kim with his fourth at 16, he'll have a 10-footer for bogey. Casey into the heart of the green at the short par-four 13th, as the wind starts to blow...
Els has played in 18 Opens, and here he is with his approach at 18, which he pushes shot and right. Hansen with a bender in a bun from long range at 15, he'll have a three-footer to stay in a three-way tie for the lead. McIlroy safely on in two at 16, but Kim's made a right hash of it - booming drive down the middle, but he stiffs his second into Wilson's Burn. Soren Hansen with par at 15, he still hasn't dropped a shot.
Soren Hansen finds the back of the green with his tee shot at the 206-yard par-three 15th. Not many Brits at the top of the leaderboard, Casey the highest on three under.
Casey's holed a few bigguns today, but he leaves his birdie attempt at 12 a few inches high. Soren Hansen, choo-chooing his way through the field, just misses his birdie putt to the right at 14 and remains in a share of the lead. Ernie Els in for birdie at 17, he's two under. Cabrera looking pretty flaky out there - he just misses with a chip, and misses coming back. Think that's a double bogey. Casey pulls his short par putt at 12, before spending an age over his three-footer coming back... in she goes, but he's back at three under.
Hansen will have a 12-footer up the hill at 14 for the outright lead, nice approach at the 448-yard par four. Harrington finds the left-hand side of the fairway with a rescue at 12. McIlroy's birdie putt at 15 curls right, but he should stay level.
Curtis leaves his birdie putt a foot short at 18, but he's in with a 65 and a share of the clubhouse lead with Tom Watson. That's a cheeky birdie putt from Fisher, a little right to left and he's in with a 69. Mike Weir, a former Masters champion, makes his birdie putt too - that had a look left and right and wiped its feet before deciding to pop in - and he's in with a 67.
Ben Curtis has got a lengthy putt for a round of 64 and the clubhouse lead... Jimenez makes par at 12 to remain one off the lead...
Harrington pulls out the seven iron at the par-three 11th and finds the heart of the green. Here's the first sighting of Mike Weir of Canada - keeps the ball low, maybe a good bet - and he's got an eight-foot birdie putt for a round of 67. Ross Fisher follows him on.
Harrington stays one under after another par at 10. Here's Sir Nick, in with a 78. Out in 36, home in a quite miserable 42. Jimenez half a club short at 12, as McIlroy leaves a lengthy save just short at 14. He drops back to level. Soren Hansen of Denmark has just chipped in at 13 to join Watson and Curtis atop the leaderboard on five under.
Ben Curtis leaves his lengthy eagle putt a couple of feet short at 17, he should move to five under and into a share of the lead. How on earth did that go in? Fisher appears to have left his birdie putt left, but the ball corpses, before coming back to life and toppling into the hole. He's level. Curtis the joint leader...
Ogilvy's four iron approach at 10 bounds straight over the flag. Harrington safely on, and Furyk joins him on the front edge. Goosen with a five iron into 14, he'll have a monster across the green for a birdie. McIlroy lets out strangled yelp as he pushes his approach right of the green. Sandy Lyle makes par at the last, he's in with a 75. Bet he wishes he hadn't made all that noise now, nobody would have been watching him otherwise...
Casey's birdie putt at 10 breaks early and the Englishman stays four under, and one off the lead. Jimenez with a fine save at 11, that had plenty of borrow. The Spaniard stays at four under.
Anthony Kim gets his pitch at 13 to grip and stiffen about 10 feet past, as Ben Curtis bends in a lengthy birdie putt at 16 to moves to four under. Kim with a great save at 13, he stays two over. Goosen slides his birdie putt by, he stays two under. Ross Fisher one over after 16, by the way - three birdies, four bogeys - as McIlroy rolls in his birdie putt to get back in the red.
McIlroy all over the flag at 13, he's got a six-footer for par. Casey of England now, and his second at the par-four 10th dribbles to within 15 feet of the flag. Masters champion Angel Cabrera playing with Casey, and he nibbles his second onto the front of the green. Casey four under, Cabrera one under.
McIlroy's long irons as smooth as silk, and he threads his tee shot down the middle at the 410-yard 13th. Harrington's ball has a little wink at the hole as it slides by to the right, and that's another par at 9 and he's out in 34. Here's old Monty, who was one under after 10 but has since picked up two bogeys. Bit of fruity language before and after his approach at 14, he'll have a tough up and down.
Harrington cuts his iron approach into the heart of the 9th. Jimenez of Spain finding the centre of the fairway once again at 10, but this time he's unable to fill his boots, pushing his approach off to the right of the green. Twenty-two years on the European Tour, that's a lot of Stogies.
McIlroy with a 25-foot birdie putt at 12, but it stays left. Goosen rolls in his birdie putt to move to three under. Kim really taking his revenge on this course after that nine at the 2nd, although he slides his birdie putt just by. He stays two over, McIlroy makes his five-footer to stay level.
The fairway at 9 was only nine yards wide before it was widened in 1986, but Furyk could thread a caravan of camels through the eye of a needle. Short rescue, straight down the middle. Ogilvy's tee shot kicks left into the thicker stuff, I should correct myself, he's had two double bogeys in his last three holes and is two over. Sergio Garcia carded a 70, by the way.
Harrington with a nasty little shot out of the green-side rough at 8, but he's all over that, jabbing the ball to within three feet. Jimenez sneaking up on leader Watson, he's four under after another birdie at 9. The unflappable Furyk leaves his birdie putt a couple of inches low at 8, he stays two under. Ogilvy sinks a slippery little right-to-lefter for bogey before Harrington makes his short par putt to stay one under.
Jimenez striking the ball well, and there's another smashing iron into the 9th green. Signs of frustration from McIlroy, who slaps his thigh after pulling a birdie putt left at 11. Kim leaves his birdie putt just high and stays at two over.
Furyk safely on in two at the 8th, he'll have a 15-footer for a second successive birdie. Ogilvy, like a kettle on the hob, is simmering, and any more shots like that and the lid might blow off. Shanked third at 8, he's looking out of sorts. Here's John Daly, a former champion, all in lime, looking like something you'd leave until last in a box of Quality Street. But that's not a bad shot at 7, rattling the pin with his approach. He's level par so far.
Jimenez rips his drive down the 9th, and here's Poulter, who's three under par. He yanks his tee shot left into the light(ish) rough. Harrington blocks his second right at 8, he'll have to go some to get up and down from there. Shot gone for McIlroy at 10 after that wild tee shot, he's back to level.
Harrington misses the fairway again with his drive down 8, as Ben Curtis, Open champion in 2003, rolls in his second successive birdie putt at 14 to move to two under. Casey leaves his long birdie putt at 8 just high and stays one off the lead.
McIlroy dropping again out of the rough, the lighthouse overlooking the storm playing out beneath it. But that's a great shot, he'll have a good chance of a par. Splendid from Goosen, he stiffs his second to within four feet of the cup.
Kjeldsen of Denmark, a four-time winner in Europe, curls in a 15-foot right to lefter on 14 to get to four under and one off the lead. McIlroy hacking through jungle again, looks like he's muffed another tee shot at 10.
Miguel Angel Jimenez with a lengthy birdie putt across the 8th, and he taps in to stay three under. Padraig splashes out at 7. He should escape with a par, although this 538-yard hole is eminently birdieable... if you can hit the ball 300 yards. Furyk on the charge, although charging isn't something Furyk really does. Rather, he's sliding through the pack undetected on the inside rail courtesy of a bendy 15-footer at 7. The American now two under. Harrington in for a par, he stays one under.
Geoff Ogilvy, I've just learned, is related to British aristocracy and descended from Robert the Bruce, but all the blue blood in the world doesn't detract from the fact that that's a pretty ordinary second into the 7th. Fine third from the stoic Furyk after he drove into the bunker, he'll have a makeable putt for birdie. McIlroy puts the disappointment of that double bogey at 8 behind him with a 10-foot birdie putt at 9. He's out in one under.
Branden Grace of South Africa pars the last for a 67, before Paul Casey moves to four under with a monster eagle at 7. The world number three has also had three birdies so far...
Here's Goosen at the par-four 9th - one under so far, and that's a solid swing and a decent result into the heart of the green. Corking second from Kim, he'll have a chance to get back to +2 after that disastrous nine on the second.
Soren Kjeldsen makes birdie at 13 to move to three under, the Dane's having a good season and you can pick him up for as high as 66-1. Harrington has tried to cut the corner at 7 and only succeeded in finding the nonsense. Ogilvy laces his tee shot down the middle.
Harrington makes his three-footer at 6 disappear to stay one under. The defending champion looking serene enough and happy with his game so far. Furyk follows him in for a three to stay one under.
McIlroy escapes with a double-bogey at 8, and he needed to sink a testy eight-footer to get away with that. Harrington leaves his birdie putt at 6 just a shade high, former US Open champion Geoff Ogilvy is unable to make his lengthy bogey putt and he's back to par.
It really is a peach of a day up on the Ayrshire coast, and as anyone who has played links golf knows, that makes things a whole lot easier. Branden Grace of South Africa eagles 17 to move to three under. New name on me, but Turnberry is clearly to his liking.
Ernie Els out in 33, he's two under after 10, and it's good to hear he's playing well. Decent shot from McIlroy, but he'll still be doing well to get down in six at 8. Padraig for birdie on 5... it has a look over the edge before deciding to pop in. The two-time champion in the red for the first time.
McIlroy has found his ball, but he's deemed it unplayable and is taking a drop. He'll only have a nine iron into the green, but it will be his fourth, and he may well decide to slash onto the fairway instead. Take your punishment and move on...
McIlroy has got five minutes to find his ball. Odd this, he only moved it 10 yards... I'll keep you posted. Furyk at the 5th, and he picks up his first birdie courtesy of a 15-footer to move to one under.
Many thanks Samuel. Jim Furyk now, with his second into the 5th, and it's solid. Seventeen top 10 finishes in Majors for the former US Open champion, he's always a good punt (he tells himself). McIlroy in a spot of bother on the par-four 8th - he's only able to chop his second a few yards into the long stuff. A whole gaggle of punters helping him find his ball, you don't get that down Risebridge in Romford...
That's it from me today, then, I'll leave you in the capable hands of Ben Dirs. Same time tomorrow, yeah? Jubbly.
Anthony Kim is prostrate by the side of the seventh green now as the physio gets out the essential oils and lights the candles. I jest, of course, but a quick massage to the neck later and Kim is ready to rejoin Rory McIlroy and Retief Goosen at the eighth tee. It looks to have done the trick as well because the American absolutely creams one down the middle of the fairway. McIlroy finds the cabbage to the left, though, unlike Goosen who gets cracking position on the fairway. Over on six Jimenez sinks an eight-footer to go two under and Andres Romero birdies eight to go three under. Paul Casey is the story of the last five minutes, though, producing another putt laced with class and that's a birdie three at five, the Englishman now three under.
Here are the eagle putts at seven, then - Retief Goosen leaving his short, Rory McIlroy doing likewise and Anthony Kim making it three out of three. They all grab birdies, though, no worries. Padraig Harrington sticks with par at four, while American JB Holmes gets one two rap thrice on the door before being allowed in to pick up another shot at the fifth.
Excellent save from Harrington as a putt smoother than Swiss Toni slips in the tradesman's entrance and home - he stays level par. Rory McIlroy, with a perfect lie in the semi rough after a massive tee shot, finds the green at the par-five seven in two, as do both his playing partners Anthony Kim and Retief Goosen, and they will all have eagle putts next up.
I tell you what, I did Harrington a disservice below - his rescue shot at three produced a remarkable result. However, his chip on to the green is a little tame and he'll have a 15-footer to save par.
BBC Sport's Iain Carter on Twitter:
"The crowds are a lot thinner than I'd expected - there are good views for all who want them. Ishikawa, though, was brilliant - his 68 beat Woods by three, what a debut!"
Excellent start this from Paul Casey as the Englishman follows up his birdie at the first with another solid putt at three to pick up another shot. Padraig Harrington takes an aggressive rescue club out of the deep rough on three and gets a decent result - he should up and down from the back of the green - but the news is not so good for Jeremy Kavanagh, who has bogeyed two of the last three holes to slip back to one under. Spare a thought, by the way, for South African Jaco Ahlers who is now 12 over after quadruple-bogeying the 16th. He may be making holiday plans for this weekend already.
Miguel Angel Jimenez - the Fozzie Bear lookalike who loves a cigar - just pulls his birdie putt short at four to stay one under, while Anthony Kim has called for a physio because of a problem with his neck. The American looks in a lot of discomfort and as he waits for treatment he pulls his birdie chance well short. Worrying times for Kim fans.
Boo Weekly - not a seven-day magazine for hide-and-seekers as suggested by Gwynfortt on 606
- gets one to creep in at 17 and he is now three under with one to play. No sign of him horsing around just yet though. Geoff Ogilvy does well to save par at the second having fallen short of the green with his approach to stay one under, Jim Furyk does the same, and Harrington likewise from six feet to stay level.
Some of these greens are more ruthless than Homer Simpson at an all-you-can-eat doughnut buffet. Padraig Harrington looks to have pinged his second shot at two within a few feet of the pin, only for it drift left and slip away to leave him with a tough up and down. Ernie Els misses a birdie chance at seven to stay one under, while home favourite and former champion Paul Lawrie holds his nerve at the first to sink a nice par putt.
Solid start for Rory McIlroy, the Northern Irishman - bidding to become the second youngest man to win the Open - parring the fifth to stay one under, while Anthony Kim starts to pinch shots back after that horrific five-over nine on the second with a birdie. Retief Goosen pars and he is level for the tournament so far.
From weeman82 on 606:
"With the weather set to turn tomorrow Tiger could be left rueing an opportunity to go low like the majority of the field have done today."
From Paul in Chislehurst via text on 81111:
"I am praying for heavy rain and gusty wins.... Took 500/1 for Tom Watson to be the round 1 leader!"
Padraig Harrington leaves himself a 40-footer for birdie at the first and even though he weights it perfectly, it drifts narrowly wide. Solid start for the holder, though. Meanwhile, Ross Fisher - a man who has half a mind on a very heavily pregnant missus back home - rips his approach at the second bang onto the green. Impending fatherhood could just bring the best out of the Englishman who finished fifth at the US Open it seems.
World number three and possibly England's best hope of glory this weekend Paul Casey, gets his round going with a simple six-foot putt for birdie at the first, while Mathew Goggin finishes off his round with a 40-footer for a superb four-under 66 for the Australian.Leaders: -5 Watson -4 Senden, Villegas, Stricker, Cink, Goggin -3 Calcavecchia, O'Meara, Singh, Kavanagh, Weir -2 Nine players
David Howell will sleep well again this evening as the Englishman birdies the last to finish on two under - a nice reception for him, but nothing compared to that for Padraig Harrington,
who is aiming for a hat-trick of Open titles this weekend
- who rips his opening tee shot straight down the middle.
Stewart Cink, having birdied 17 to move alongside leader Tom Watson on five under, finds a hole of a bunker at 18 and all he can do is lay up and two-putt to drop back to four under in the clubhouse. Shots of Tiger Woods back on the practice round - I can imagine a couple of hours of working out the kinks will ensue. Have we mentioned
yet? The jobbing builder is the leading Englishman on the scoreboard on three under after a splendid blemish-free front nine. Canadian Mike Weir eagles seven to rip to three under.
"It's a good start. I kept concentration pretty well, there's a lot of activity out there in our group, and my confidence is good. That's why I'm marginally disappointed with 68. I had a dream start, so to walk off with 68 is a bit disappointing. Still, it's in there."Lee Westwood on BBC Two
Ian Poulter two-putts to kick his round off with a bogey, with playing partner JB Holmes getting started with a decent par. Tempestuous American Anthony Kim, meanwhile, has had something akin to a slasher movie at the second, taking a nine would you believe it. The form man of the tournament - Martin Kaymer, on the back of successive European tour victories - is one over after bogeying the second.
David Howell, whose round has fallen away down the back nine, lips in and out on 17 and it's another dropped shot for the Englishman - he's back to one under. Ian Poulter, meanwhile, punts out of the bunker short of the green at the first impressively, but his chip on to the green isn't so hot and he'll have a tricky putt for par.
Oh ho ho that's lovely - Rory McIlroy picks up a shot at two with a sublime shot that rattles in off the pin. Cue massive cheers and there's little doubting the support for the Northern Irishman here.
Hello again, folks. Give this page a cheeky manual refresh when you get a chance and you'll see my name at the top. Not that it makes a massive difference let's be honest. I'll restart with news of Ian Poulter - resplendent in Union Jack waistcoat - but the Englishman punts his drive off the first a touch to left and it trickles into the fairway bunker. Ernie Els gets his round motoring with a birdie putt at four that just about swept in sideways. Nice.
Ishikawa's lengthy birdie putt ducks just right of the cup. Aggressive, but he should be in with a 68, which is a remarkable effort from the 17-year-old. Westwood doesn't read his birdie putt properly - big swinger right to left, but he taps in for a 68. Big misread from Woods, the ball starting left and staying left. In for a 71 blows, three behind playing partners Westwood and Ishikawa, who makes his four-footer. Here's Sam Lyon again, I'll see you later...
Woods, Westwood and Ishikawa all safely on in two at 18. Ishikawa has practice greens in his backyard seeded with the same grass as that at Augusta National. When I was 17, my mum used to make me pick up my dog's business from our backyard. Serves me right for not being very good at golf.
Two-time US Open champion Retief Goosen, the world number 23, leaves his birdie putt left at 1, but taps in for par. Greg Norman, winner here in 1986, has kicked off with a 77, and that included birdies at 17 and 18. Michael Campbell of New Zealand, whose career is in freefall, is in with a 78.
That's a plum of an approach from McIlroy at the 1st, he'll have a makeable putt for birdie. Woods and Westwood safely on the 18th fairway. Our man at Turnberry has done a blog on the media circus surrounding Tiger, it's well worth a look.
Woods' long birdie putt at 17 is a god one, and he taps in for par to stay one over. Westwood's birdie putt nips right at the last second and he stays two under. Ishikawa outplaying his partners at the moment, he makes birdie to join Westwood on two under.
Luke Donald of England rattles in a good saver on the last for a round of 71. Woods hacking his way down the 17th, his third shot out of the rough comes to rest 30 feet shot of the cup. Westwood's third, a little dink over a hump on the right of the green, isn't much cop, he'll have a 10-footer for birdie. Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland on the 1st tee, and he finds the middle of the fairway with a gentle iron. Anthony Kim, the young firebrand from the United States, follows him down, before Retief Goosen, the daddy of the group, does just the same.
Darren Clarke is in with a 71. Woods has come over seriously agricultural - three wood out of the dirt, but he made contact a few inches behind the ball and has come up well short in the cabbage.
Here's one half of the Handbag Crue, Colin Montgomerie rattling his tee shot down the middle at the 1st. The other half, Sandy Lyle, has double-bogeyed 2 and 3 and lies four over after four. Cink's lengthy birdie putt at 15 pulls up just short and he stays four under. Two shots gone for Howell at 15, he's back to two under...
David Howell is having a shocker at the par-three 15th - he leaves his second in the wispy stuff front right... Ishikawa, who made par at 16, just tugs his tee shot left down the par-five 17th. Woods with driver for only the third time today... and he's naused that right up, heaving his ball straight right. But that's glorious from Westwood, clattering his drive straight down the middle.
Two shots gone for Westwood, his bogey putt staying determinedly left of the hole. He's now two under. Woods makes his six-footer disappear, but drops back to one over.
Westwood and Woods both on safely after dropping out of the burn at 16, they'll have makeable putts to drop just one. Villegas finishes 3 3 3 4 3 for a round of 66. Not a good tee shot from Howell at the par-three 15th, let's hope he's got a scythe in his bag.
David Howell very nearly grabs a share of the lead, his lengthy birdie putt at 14 having a look in the side door, before deciding not to enter. Ian Poulter will be out in a few minutes - Union Jack cardigan, red, white and black tartan slacks. "Limited edition," he says. Yes, Poults, because no-one else on God's earth would buy them.
"I played very well, I kept the ball in play and made a few putts. I suspect by the end of the day 65 will not be leading. I don't live in the past but it certainly is at the forefront of conversations this week. People remember 77. A lot of the kids playing in this tournament weren't born in 77. I was playing well in practice and I thought I had a chance of playing well today."Clubhouse leader and five-time winner Tom Watson
Woops. Westwood, who'd been putting together a peach of a round, pushes his approach right at 16 and finds Wilson's Burn, which runs like a scar across the front of the green. That didn't touch the sides. Remarkably, Woods follows him in... Cink splashes out at 14, he'll have a six-footer for par.
A choppy little half swing from Tiger at 16, he looks a little bit out of sorts. Stewart Cink, PGA Tour rookie of the year in 1997, is putting together a coruscating round, but finds the bunker front left of the green at 14. McDowell in with a 68 after a par at 18, and Vijay Singh makes a good clutch putt for round of 67.
"Whilst writing from Greece, can anyone name a Greek golfer ever to have played in an Open Championship?"Peter by the Pool via text on 81111
Here's the most beautiful man in golf, Camilo Villegas of Colombia, rolling in a 10-footer at 17 to get to three under. Anthony Wall of England in with a 68, including four birdies. Ross Fisher just about to go out, I've stuck a few quid on him, as have many. Here's a great stat for you - that 65 from Tom Watson was his best ever opening round at The Open. And remember, he's won it five times...
Woods has got a task to make par at 15 - he jabs his second from just off the putting surface well left of the hole. That's a doozy of a second from McDowell at 18, the Northern Irishman pulling out his rescue and pinging it into the guts of the green. Westwood rams home his birdie putt at 15, the Worksop man is now one off the lead on four under. Woods back to level, his 10-foot par putt breaking just too soon.
David Howell's 15-foot birdie putt at 13 stays left, and he remains one behind leader Tom Watson. Drama for Graeme McDowell on the 18th - he's pushed his drive well right, but we think he's had a big break there and that the ball is playable. Cink makes birdie at 13 to go four under.
The Howeller putting together a very respectable round today - nice approach at 13, he'll have a makeable putt to go five under. Here's Westwood with a four iron into the par-three 15th. A huge grandstand overlooking the green, and Westwood wows them with a tee shot into the heart. Woods with a six iron, and what looks like a decent contact comes up just short and curls off the front of the green. The 17-year-old Japanese Ryo Ishikawa outdoes both his illustrious playing partners, stiffing one to within 10 feet.
By the way, that wasn't Jonathan Stevenson writing this morning, it was Sam Lyon. Sorry. Manually refresh to reveal the reality. Vijay Singh's 10-footer at 17 fades right and he makes par to stays three under. My word, that wiped it's feet - Woods makes his par after that scuffy drive at 14, the world number one stays one under.
Hello! Ben Dirs here, and I join you as Stewart Cink pulls out a long iron and pings one down the middle at 13. Graeme McDowell's eagle putt at 17 comes up just short, but he taps in to get back to two under.
Right, I'm going to stick my fingers in a bucket of ice for a while so Ben Dirs can take the hot seat for a spell. See you in a bit, folks.
Deary me, Tiger Woods seems determined to work on his recovery shots today as he kerplunks another tee shot into the right-side jungle at 14 - get your war paint and camouflage gear on, son - while Tom Watson punts his birdie attempt at 18 past the hole. Sergio Garcia rounds off a competent round of 70 with a bogey at the last, Italian amateur Matteo Manassero, 16, bogeys, and Watson returns to sink his par putt to round off a sensational blemish-free 65 - the five-time Open champion leads at Turnberry in the clubhouse.
As Lee Westwood chips beautifully on to the green at 13, last week's winner on the PGA Tour Steve Stricker completes a delightful back nine with birdie-birdie and he goes into the clubhouse on four under. Tom Watson, meanwhile, looks like a kid who has just been handed the keys to the magic kingdom as he pings another sensational approach at 18, while Tiger Woods saves par at 13.Leaders: -5 Watson -4 Senden, Howell, Stricker -3 Calcavecchia, O'Meara, Singh, McDowell, Westwood, Cink, Goggin -2 Wall, Weekley
"Don't do it" cries Tiger Woods after his approach at 13, but his ball is not voice-activated it appears as it flies past the green and into the rough stuff. Over on 11, Stewart Cink drops back to three under after his seven-footer creeps past the hole, at 16 Graeme McDowell drops a shot of his own after a poor iron leaves him too much to do with the putter, and down by the coastline, a youngster is throwing stones in the sea with incredible accuracy, hitting the vast expanse of open water almost every time. Impressive.
From Dave in Edinburgh via text on 81111:
"Very interested in the 'Saltmen' (1206); clubmates of mine down at Craigielaw. Lloyd's a great ball striker so am confident he'll find a way back."
Lee Westwood is back among the birdies as he drops one in at 12, but Graeme McDowell tries to be a little too clever at 16 and finds the greenside wet stuff. I'm going to go arrow-tastic now, because 59-year-old Tom Watson has taken the outright lead with a confident putt at 17.
Graeme McDowell, who has looked capable of birdies all day, sinks another at 15 and he moves to three under, a shot off the leaders. And that group at the top now includes American Stewart Cink after he birdied 10 with a 10-footer. Greg Norman finishes his round birdie-birdie - but unfortunately before that the Aussie had found the hole more elusive than an Eldorado fan and he is seven over in the clubhouse.
John Daly on Twitter:
"Watching TV, studying the pins/greens, and hoping for a great round. I'm feeling good and getting into my mode."
Anyone interested in
the Saltman brothers?
Lloyd and Elliot will be joined by younger sibling Zack, the latter caddying for Elliot, as the trio hope to make this Open Saltman sponsored. Unfortunately, Lloyd has not made the best of starts, lying as he is four over through five holes thanks to two bogeys and a double at the fourth. I'm sure the Scot can bounce back, though.
From goldwolf on 606:
"I've been impressed with this Ishikawa, first time I've seen him play, he looks class. Good style too."
Sergio Garcia, who found the water at 16, drops back to level par with a double bogey and that was an inexcusable error from the Spaniard really. Over at 11, Lee Westwood just misjudges a birdie chance as the ball refuses to curl in right to left enough and he settles for a par, as opposed to Tiger Woods who drills in his chance to go back to one under. David Howell, meanwhile, completes the front nine of the tournament so far with a doozy of a putt at nine to go into the turn at four under.
From Tamsin in London via text on 81111:
"Every Open of late I've put my money on Poulter and been close but no cigar. It's a hard decision - should I repeat my mistake or just buy a new handbag?"
Well now - a three-putt from Tiger Woods, the second missing from less than four feet - and the American drops back to level par, looking a lot like someone has wiped mustard on his top lip. US veteran Mark O'Meara bags a birdie at the last to round off a 67, while Ian Poulter exclusively reveals his outfit for today on
his Twitter account.
It would appear he's dug deep in Ginger Spice's wardrobe and remodelled one of her dresses into a waistcoat. If only he'd come out of his shell a touch...
Agonisingly close from Lee Westwood, the Englishman dripping a putt down the hill at 10 and the ball knocks on the door before deciding it'll wait outside for a while longer. Shame. Delightful putt from Aussie Mathew Goggin at eight, landing one from 20-odd feet to move to three under par alongside the likes of David Howell, Stewart Cink and Vijay Singh.
Everywhere you look, there are players with the ability to challenge this week and, speaking of which, Vijay Singh sinks a short one at 13 to move to three under. Tom Watson, meanwhile, takes an aggressive drive at 16 and plants it a country mile straight down the middle of the fairway. He really is rolling back the years here.
From Ian in Kent via text on 81111:
"Great to see David Howell doing well. Such a thoroughly pleasant chap! He deserves a win just for being so decent."
Sergio Garcia rediscovers his ability to clinch a birdie chance at 15 to move to two under, while Tom Watson saves par with a lovely clutch putt to stay top of the leaderboard alongside John Senden on four under. Conditions, by the way, remain more sedate than a student during term time and I'd wager those players slated with a later tee time are itching to get out on the course.Leaders: -4 Senden, Watson -3 Calcavecchia, Howell -2 Wall, O'Meara, Stricker, Singh, McDowell, Westwood, Cink, Goggin -1 Perry and nine others
David Howell - I've not given him a mention yet - has flown out of the blocks, the Englishman just pulling up short with an eagle putt on seven, but saving birdie to go three under and one shot off the lead. Compatriot Anthony Wall does the same at 18 to finish his round two under, while Lee Westwood and Tiger Woods both save par at nine. John Senden just - and I mean just - misses a birdie chance at 18, but he is the leader in the clubhouse thanks to his four-under-par 66. That all happened for him in the last half a dozen holes, there, nice.
From bigchris82 on 606:
"Bit early for a cut prediction, especially as the weather is meant to be pretty fierce tomorrow, but I'll stick my neck out and say +3."
Tiger Woods. Toys out of pram. The world number one is rather miffed with his approach at nine and throws his iron to the ground. Temper temper. Lee Westwood shows him how it should be done with a nice contact out of the rough and sending his approach onto the green.
Mark O'Meara, another former Open champion, rolls in nicely on 16 to move to two under but, while he, Watson and Calcavecchia are digging deep in their satchels of fond Open memories, Greg Norman is having a bit of 'mare. No birdies for the Shark today, combined with four bogeys and a double bogey see the Australian six over through 14. Only Michael Campbell and Pablo Larrazabal are faring worse at the moment.
From John, somewhere in the city, via text on 81111:
"Re: 1027 - My Mrs reckons blokes can't multitask - well I intend to blow that little myth apart this afternoon, simultaneously following golf, cricket and the Tour de France, all whilst maintaining the pretence of putting in a hard day's work at the office."
The undulating green on eight is proving a tough nut to read for a whole host of them out there, and Woods, Westwood and Ishikawa all fail to pick the right line as they miss their birdie chances. Pars all round there. Tom Watson retains his lead despite a two-putt at 13.
John Senden, who only qualified for the Championship on Tuesday, joins Tom Watson at the top of the leaderboard with a 20-footer at 17 that creeps in the back door like a teenager sneaking home an hour past their curfew, and I don't think many would have had Senden and Watson to lead the Open at this stage. Those two are now four under and the low scores are starting to roll in.
Tom Watson - at the grand ol' age of 59 - leads the Open, folks, as he sinks another lip-smacking putt to go four under through 12. Kenny Perry, who finished runner up to Angel Cabrera after a play-off at the US Masters this year, is making a bit of a surge with a couple of birdies in a blemish-free round so far up to 13, while Sergio Garcia - for the third time in his round - makes up for a wild tee shot by saving par, this time at 12, and he stays one under.Leaders: -4 Watson -3 Calcavecchia, Senden-2 Perry, Stricker, Singh, McDowell, Hansen, Westwood -1 O'Meara and 15 others
A gallant attempt at his chip from off the green leaves Westwood a horrid putt for par at seven and he can't make it, so he drops back to two under. Ryo Ishikawa picks up a shot, though, as he goes one under, as does Woods who sinks his tiddler to join the Japanese superstar in the pack two shots off the lead.
Ouch - Westwood finds he has a horrible lie at seven after that wayward second shot and his escape bobbles short of the green. He faces a tough ol' up and down to save par, there. Woods, however, putts from off the green to within a few feet and he has that for a birdie at the par five.
"Conditions out there are absolutely perfect and the course couldn't possibly play any easier - it's still hard, but this is as good as it gets. I don't know if it's going to stay like this, though, so maybe the earlier you get out there today, the better."Clubhouse leader Mark Calcavecchia on BBC Two
BBC Sport's Rob Hodgetts on Twitter:
"Have escaped the Tiger scrum. A snapper on the 6th tee got a telling off for clicking as Lee Westwood was over his ball. Hard stares from Lee."
From Sam, alone in the office, Loughborough via text on 81111:
"Is it sad that I'm more excited by learning the alt-tab trick than the golf?!"
First real slip of the day from Westwood as the Englishman puts his second shot at seven into the rough - difficult to tell how bad his lie is, though. Australian John Senden, meanwhile, has joined the leaders at three under with three birdies on the bounce 13 through 15, while Graeme McDowell sinks a beauty at nine to go into the turn at two under. Just as I type, Tom Watson narrowly misses a putt at 12 to go four under - what a round he is enjoying. Leaders: -3 Calcavecchia, Senden, Watson, Westwood -2 Perry, Singh, McDowell, Hansen -1 O'Meara and 13 others
From Alan in Edinburgh via text on 81111:
"Ian Poulter is just getting into the Scottish frame of mind (see below). 'Pooring' is acceptable and I'm sure he'll be telling us how 'dreich' it is later."
Mark Calcavecchia misses the chance to take the outright lead as he forces a long putt at 18 past the hole, but no such trouble for Tom Watson who is putting a smile on everyone's faces as he birdies 11 to join the leaders at three under. Italian 16-year-old Matteo Manasero - the youngest player on the course partnered by the oldest in Watson - is more than holding his own there as he sinks a lovely putt at the same hole to stay level par, but Garcia - who could do with a touch of Manasero's precocious talent right now - pushes another putt past the hole at 11 to miss out on birdie. He's just failing to convert these chances, the Spaniard.
Tiger Woods, who while hardly faltering has yet to really open his box of tricks today, pings a stonking tee shot at six to find the green. By the way, for those of you perplexed as to how to keep track of both the Open and
the second Ashes Test
today, fear not - I have the solution. I'm thinking two windows, both sat open on your navigation bar alongside your 'work', and exuberant use of the alt-tab 'switch windows' facility when your boss walks by. That, my friends, is happy days.
Lee Westwood is the form man on the course at the moment and he just misses out on yet another birdie at five when his putt pulls up - he'll stay at three under. Northern Irishman Graeme McDowell is beginning to tar his splendid opening as he bogeys eight to drop to one under, while Japanese star Ryo Ishikawa - whose nickname is apparently "The Bashful Prince" - leaves himself a tricky four-footer for bogey at five after his par effort falls short from range. Mark Calcavecchia pulls a tricky eagle chance inches wide at 17 but he'll birdie to go three under, while Vijay Singh holes for a two at eight and he goes to two under. The pick-up shots are coming thick and fast.
Garcia ends up pushing his putt at nine and he drops back to one under. Leaders: -3 Westwood -2 Calcavecchia, Watson, McDowell, Hansen -1 Overton, Wall, Senden and 17 others
A couple of delightful rescue shots - one from Sergio Garcia and one from Graeme McDowell - and those two might just save par at nine and eight thanks to them. Vijay Singh, one under for the round so far, punts on to the green at eight but he faces a lengthy putt for birdie.
From David in Manchester via text on 81111:
"Let's hope Ian Poulter's golf is better than his spelling on Twitter (below)! 'Pooring'??"
Sergio Garcia, from the middle of the fairway, drops a bit of a clanger at nine as he sends a simple eight iron short and wide of the green. He faces a tough up and down to save par, there. At the opposite end of the leaderboard, meanwhile, Kiwi Michael Campbell and Spain's Pablo Larrazabal are battling it out for the first round's wooden spoon, lying as they are seven and six over through 16 and 13 respectively.
Westwood gives himself a chance of yet another birdie by pinging his tee at the fourth to within a few feet of the pin, but just pushes his putt past and he pars. Despite that, I want some of what he had for breakfast, this really is cracking golf. Ishikawa finishes off a sparkling birdie at the same hole, while Woods mops up a tidy three. Graeme McDowell, meanwhile, just doesn't put enough weight behind his birdie putt at seven and that's missed opportunity. He stays two under. And Anders Hansen drills in a 20-footer in at five for a delightful birdie.
From Gareth in Norwich via text on 81111:
"Broadhurst through 15 already? At this rate the bar wont even be open when they get in. Golfing schoolboy error."
Ian Poulter on Twitter:
"Morning Open viewers. Watching the golf this morning on TV, it's flat, calm and no rain there - I'm staying 5 miles away and its pooring down."
That's a shame, Graeme McDowell - who has been hotter than the inside of McDonald's apple pie so far - drops a shot at six to join the pack on two under. Tiger Woods, meanwhile, two putts after his chip back onto the green and he drops a shot - unlike Westwood who taps in to make it three-three-three. What a start for the in-form Notts man. Leaders: -3 Westwood -2 Calcavecchia, Garcia, Watson, McDowell, Westwood -1 Wall, O'Meara and 9 others
Spot of luck for Tiger, who is able to take a drop after that horrible tee shot as it lay underneath a TV tower, but he still has to bunt away at the long stuff to get his ball out and it shoots past the green. Westwood is unbowed, though, as he chips an exquisite iron smack onto the green. Westy is on fire and no mistake.
Not good. Tiger Woods looks like someone has spilt ketchup on his brand new slacks as he punts a horror of a tee shot into the long rough at three, and he reacts by swiping at air in disgust. As bad as that was, though, is as good as it gets from Garcia on seven as the Spaniard rolls a jam-spangler in from 25 feet for eagle and he goes two under. Tom Watson pulls his putt millimetres short to miss out on another birdie.
A little look round the course and Luke Donald and Darren Clarke have both bogeyed three to lie one over through four, while England's Anthony Wall birdies 11 to move to one under.
And that's the first roar of the Championship from Tiger as he sinks a lengthy putt for his first birdie of the day. Ishikawa and Westwood refuse to be outdone, though, as both follow suit and that's a beauty of a start for the Englishman, two under through two. I wonder if, as promised, Westwood is boring Woods about Nottingham Forest yet? That'd be enough to prompt Woods to deliberately drive into the rough wouldn't it?
From David, wishing he'd taken the day off, in Chesterfield via text on 81111:
"Ross Fisher is only a good bet
if his missus doesn't go into labour!
May prove to be a bit of a distraction... just like the live video when you're at work!"
Oh that's nice, Graeme McDowell sinks a doozy of a putt from 15 feet for his third birdie in five holes and he goes into the outright lead. With barely a breath of wind about, that's more the like the kind of scoring I was expecting to be honest. Over on two, Ishikawa outshines his playing partners with a chipped approach to within a few feet - but only just as Woods and Westwood float their shots to almost as close in. Cracking start to that threesome.
Tom Watson almost continues his splendid opening at the sixth with a curving putt from 20-odd feet, but it refuses to pull in and he stays at two under, with playing partner Sergio Garcia two-putting from off the green to stay level par. Leaders: -2 Calcavecchia, Watson, McDowell -1 Finch, O'Meara, Perry, Wilson, Stricker, Singh Par 14 others
Well you don't see that very often, Tiger Woods misreading his putt at the first by a relative mile and he pushes it left to miss out on a good birdie chance. No slip from Westwood, though, as he strokes confidently into the hole to go one under through one.
From Dan in Birmingham via text on 81111:
"Ross Fisher £10 e/w at 55/1 has to be a good bet doesn't he?"
Anything Tom Watson can do, Graeme McDowell can match at the moment as the Northern Irishman rolls in a six-footer for a birdie at the second to join the leaders at two under. Lee Westwood and Tiger Woods, who both drove conservatively short of the fairway bunker on one, ping gorgeous approaches onto the green within five and eight feet respectively.
Tiger Woods, Lee Westwood and Ryo Ishikawa get their rounds underway - the former two pinging their irons down the middle of the fairway and the latter just creeping into the light rough down the right. In case you were wondering, approximately 4,782 (give or take) photographers are following this group - and not all because of Tiger. Ishikawa is bigger in Japan than sushi (give or take), apparently.
Four minutes until Tiger Woods and Lee Westwood get their rounds under way - cue pandemonium at Turnberry - but before then it's two other Americans that are making waves, with Tom Watson and now Mark Calcavecchia two under at the top of the leaderboard. Sergio Garcia, Vijay Singh, Anthony Wall and Kenny Perry are among those on level par.
Folks - manually refresh this page and live video pictures will magically appear. That, as they say, is lovely jubbly.
While Tom Watson rolls back the years with a sensational opening to lead the Championship, Greg Norman is finding things more difficult than a five-year-old who has had too much ice cream. The Australian double bogeys the fifth and he goes three over - only Michael Campbell and Rory Sabbatini are faring worse at the moment.
From Lee say at the side of a pool in Italy via text on 81111:
"Thank goodness for the BBC website and Blackberrys. How the hell did we manage before them? Off to a wedding later. You don't think the bride and groom Jen and Dom will mind if I keep nipping out for a peek do you?!
Well, Craig (below), Sweden's Stenson is level par through three so don't throw your slip on the fire just yet. Anyone out there had a cheeky wager on Tom Watson? Allow yourself an air punch because the veteran has just rolled in a 10-footer at the third to move to two under. He couldn't... could he?Leaders: -2 Watson -1 Calcavecchia, Wilson, Stricker, McDowell, O'Hair Par: 13 others
From Craig, Guildford via text on 81111:
"How's my investment of £50 ew @35/1 on Henrik Stenson looking? Shall I rip my betting slip up now?"
Flying start from Northern Ireland's Graeme McDowell as he picks up a shot at the first to join the pack of five on one under. His compatriot Darren Clarke, alongside Englishman Luke Donald and Japan's Azuma Yano, has made his way to the first tee as well and that group will get a lovely reception, I'm sure.
From Richard (who may pull a sickie) in Southend via text on 81111:
"With the Open and the second Ashes Test starting today, are there any other days this year that offer four better days of sporting spectacular?"
favourite nearly man Sergio Garcia
is through his first hole, and the Spaniard lies on level par at the moment. Meanwhile, Kiwi Michael Campbell falls back to four over with a bogey at the eighth and he holds up the leaderboard again. Leaders: -1 Calcavecchia, Wilson, Stricker, Watson Par: 11 others
A little mention, now, for a couple of fellas a few of my golfing buddies are backing for Open glory this weekend; American David Duval and Aussie Adam Scott are yet to click into gear, both lying one over through two. Here's hoping one or both can pull it around and earn me a freebie beer on Sunday evening. Soon
up to the tee
will be the likes of Fiji's Vijay Singh and Northern Irishman Graeme McDowell - the hits just keep on coming, people.
Hold the phone - it's 1977 all over again isn't it? Tom Watson,
star of arguably the greatest Open ever,
gets his Championship off to a dream start, following up a doozy of a drive with a cracking approach and five-foot putt for birdie at the first. Not so great for English trio Paul Broadhurst, Anthony Wall and Graeme Storm, though, with all three one over.
From Toby via text on 81111:
"Re: 0716 - I am not sure who has had a bigger fall from grace - Michael Campbell or Paul Daniels."
Former Open champion Mark O'Meara is making the most of the good early conditions by going two under with a birdie at the third, but Greg Norman gives a glowing example of the perils of missing the fairway on the second as he struggles to swipe his way out of the long rough to the right and it costs him a shot. Leaders: -1 O'Meara, Calcavecchia, Wilson Par: Nine others
Greg Norman - winner here in 1986, lest we forget - is among the big names out and about early doors and he pars the first. In a remarkable comeback at the age of 53, the veteran Australian created arguably the story of last year's Championship, leading going into the final day before falling back to finish third. Someone has asked me about his compatriot John Senden - well he is level par after four. Steady Eddie stuff and that is exactly what's needed here.
Hold up - we have an Englishman back at the top of the standings as Oliver Wilson birdies the first after a dream of an approach leaves him a good putt. A reminder, by the way, that we'll all have TV pictures on BBC Two, the Red Button and the website (UK users only) from 0900. Bootiful.
From Chris in Telford via text on 81111:
"This lot have until 0909 and then it's all over when the Tiger roars his first off the tee. Good luck to everyone and I pray the sun continues to shine."
A delightful birdie two from Jeff Overton sees him join American compatriot Mark O'Meara at the top of the leaderboard on one under, and early indications are that low scores are there to be made today if you can keep it in the short stuff. That's easier said than done, though, at this
course, which has more hazards than an It's a Knockout obstacle run.
America's Mark O'Meara will be among those hoping to roll back the years this weekend and he gets his Open going nicely with a birdie at the first to go top of the early leaderboard. Otherwise it's pars all round mainly, while Michael Campbell stops the rot with a par at the fourth to stay four over.
From Steve taking 15 Year 6 pupils to Brancaster Staithe (Norfolk) for kayaking + crabbing:
"Thank goodness for mobile technology as I can supervise the kids whilst connecting with the golf! Keep the sun shining as I'll be there at the weekend! Go Monty + Poulter!"
From Richard in godmanchester via text on 81111:
"My favourite day of the year! Not much chance of me or anyone from work getting anything done today. A fiver on Nick Watney at 80-1 and a patriotic cheer for the Brits and we're away!"
OK, the weather might be delightful, but this course is proving trickier than Paul Daniels for the opening threesomes this morning. Mark Calcavecchia follows his birdie at the second with a bogey at three to drop back into a pack of seven on level par, while England's Paul Broadhurst does the same at the third to drop to one over. However, their struggles are smaller than a church mouse's dinner compared to Kiwi Michael Campbell - the 2005 US Open champion is four over after three. Oopsa-daisy.
From Peter by the pool in Kefalonia via text on 81111:
"No Greek coverage so tuned in via the web. Early predictions are Lee Westwood to outshine Tiger Woods later, and Ross Fisher to make a strong start for the Brits!"
Englishman Paul Broadhurst may have had the honour of taking the first tee shot at the Open, but American Mark Calcavecchia snatches the first birdie of the Championship at the second, placing him top of the placings with, admittedly, only a dozen players now out on the course. Heady days indeed.
From Anon via text on 81111:
"Re 0650 - vol au vents with artichokes? Don't tell me my mother in law has got a gig doing the catering! Won't be many turning up for day 2 if that is the case!!"
So, in case you haven't yet had the chance to float around this wonderous thing we call the BBC Sport website, allow me to nudge you in the direction of a whole wad of preview material, interviews and blogs. For example, are you wondering
if this is the year the Brits can conquer The Open?
is on hand to aid your musing. Or perhaps the America-philes (made-up word alert) among you are considering placing a little bet on one of the likes of Kenny Perry or Jim Furyk? Well, Mark Orlovac
is your man to help you decide where to stick your cash.
Have a poke around over your morning coffee and croissant, why don't you.
From Ian in Kent via text on 81111:
"Re: 0630 - Yelps? Yelps!? This is Ivor Robson! I think you mean 'announces in a light Scottish burr'. Cheers."
Scotland's own Gary Orr is among those out and about on the course at the moment and, let me tell you, conditions are so good at Turnberry at the moment, even I could shoot a sub-100 round I reckon. And that would ordinarily be a claim more fanciful than a vol-au-vent smothered in artichokes.
From Owen in Edinburg via text on 81111:
"Re: 0628: Morning Sam. Did you mean sunny climes or are you going hillwalking in South Africa for your hols? Sorry, early for such pedantry. Is it windy over there?"Ah yes, good spot Owen. I do indeed holiday in the mountains. Ahem.
Pars all round for the 2009 Open's first group meaning an Englishman leads the Championship folks! What are the chances of that still being the case come Sunday evening?
BBC Sport's Mark Orlovac on Twitter:
"It really is a glorious morning here at Turnberry, the contrast with the first day at Birkdale could not be more stark. Wonder how the 1st group are feeling?"
Broadhurst, alongside Kiwi Michael Campbell and American Mark Calcavecchia, strolls down the opening fairway to polite applause as the crowds begin to build nicely even at this early hour. And that allows me to give you an early pointer that this year's Open will be what can only be described as Twitter-tastic
. We have Robin Hodgetts, Mark Orlovac, Iain Carter and Ged Scott - among others - in place at Turnberry and all of them are armed with a mobile phone and an intention to keep us all updated via the medium of Tweets throughout the next four days. Modern technology huh?
"On the tee, Paul Broadhurst", yelps Open starter Ivor Robson, and the Englishman gets the 138th Open Championship under way with a super drive right down the middle of the fairway. Let me tell you, conditions could not be better at Turnberry right now - take a picture and slap it on a postcard, someone, please. If it stays like this, we could be looking at a heap of low scores today - something few were predicting earlier this week.
Turnberry - one of the most picturesque courses out there - plays host to the Open this year and, with literally seconds to go until the first shot, why don't you think about getting involved via text on 81111
? Few things in life fully justify a 0430 alarm call, I'm sure you'll agree, but the Open is up there with Christmas morning and a long-haul holiday flight to the sunny climbs of who knows where. Get involved.
Oh yes, I know what you're thinking... just when you thought this summer's feast of top sporting action could not get any more plentiful, along comes the 138th Open Championship
. Settle yourself in for four days of quality, nail-biting, topsy-turvy golfing action because, as far as I can tell, any one of about three dozen players will fancy their chances of taking home the most coveted prize in world golf on Sunday evening. Are you ready to rumble?