British Open 2009

Tom WatsonA GOLEN OLDIE stole the show during the first round of the British Open but unfortunately it wasn’t our Greg.

Five time winner Tom Watson, just a couple of months shy of his 60th birthday, put in a serene performance on a course he described as “defenceless” to his charms.

Watson finished at five under, just pipped for the lead by Spain’s Miguel Angel Jimenez, who  equalled the lowest first round in Open Championship history with a six-under-par 64.

Watson was bogey free, hitting 12 of 14 fairways and 15 greens.

“I feel that I’m playing well enough to win. I feel inspired playing here.”

Greg Norman on the other hand carded birdies on 17 and 18 to come in at seven over. Gulp.

The Shark said the millpond conditions didn’t suit him and he never felt comfortable.

“It was disappointing I wasn’t walking on to the first tee feeling confident about where I was hitting the ball,” the twice Open winner said.

“For me to drive the ball the way I did today was probably the worst of my career and if you don’t get on the fairway you are going to struggle. I got what I deserved.”

John Senden, blessed by a last minute Open start, and Tasmanian Matthew Goggin were the best of the Australians. They are among a group of five players tied for fifth place at four under.

Matching Tom Watson on 65 were 2003 champion Ben Curtis and right at the end of the day by Japan’s Kenichi Kuboya, who finished sensationally – birdie, birdie, eagle, birdie – for an inward 30.

Paul Casey, Lee Westwood, David Howell and Graeme McDowell had hopes of figuring high on the leaderboard after flying starts, but all four finished with 68s, alongside Aussie Terry Pilkadaris.

Robert Allenby had an even-par round as did Kiwis Josh Geary and David Smail.

Adam Scott, Richard Green, Stuart Appleby and New Zealand’s Mark Brown are all at one-over.


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