150th Open Championship - big guns fire on opening day

Golf's biggest names brought their A game to St Andrews for round one of the 150th Open Championship.

By Scott Inglis
Thursday, 14th July 2022, 9:20 pm
Rory McIlroy tees off on the sixth hole during day one of The 150th Open at St Andrews Old Course. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
Rory McIlroy tees off on the sixth hole during day one of The 150th Open at St Andrews Old Course. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

Slightly overcast with a minimal wind, conditions were near perfect at the Old Course, and the stars reveled in it.

American Cameron Young set the pace early on, his flawless 64 seeing him surge to the top of the leaderboard.

Ominously for the 25-year-old, though, there were some big names keeping pace.

Bookies’ favourite Rory McIlroy hit his stride on the opening hole, his birdie added to by another five on his way to a -6 66.

Kurt Kitayama, who booked his place at The Open through last weekend’s Scottish Open, was another going low, carding a -4 68.

Bryson Dechambeau, Xander Schauffele, Lee Westwood and Viktor Hovland were amongst the others chasing the leader down.

There was early drama at the Old Course, though, with Justin Rose and Erik Van Rooyen pulling out minutes before their scheduled tee off times through injury.

The day started shortly after 6.30am when 1999 winner Paul Lawrie teed off on his way to a +2 74.

Fellow Scot Robert Macintyre fared better and returned to the clubhouse with a healthy -2 70.

Young was pleased with his day’s work and believes he can get even better.

He said: “I think I hit it fine off the tee, but it wasn't just going where I was looking.

"We worked our way around the golf course really well. I do not think that I played a perfect round of golf but I scored really well. and I think we thought our way around the way you have to out there.

“I do not think I've figured that much of it out honestly.

"You could play every day here for a year and you would just scratch the surface of what you can know about this place.”

Unsurprisingly Tiger Woods carried one of the biggest supports of the day but, sadly, the three time winner endured a torrid first round, starting off with a double bogey on his way to an eventual +6.