Johnson, Spieth favourites as British Open begins

Johnson, Spieth favourites as British Open begins

Johnson, Spieth favourites as British Open begins

But he'd rather have been swinging a club than holding a microphone.

The British Open began Thursday with an All-American flavor.

The venue has hosted the tournament nine times, along with by Royal Lytham, more than any other course apart from St Andrews in Scotland.

England's Tommy Fleetwood grew up in Southport near Royal Birkdale What is the weather looking like?

Now he's back at Royal Birkdale.

Back in 2008, it was a fist-pumping, nattily dressed Poulter that finished second to Padraig Harrington for what remains his best Open finish.

"Just go play golf and shoot the lowest you can", he said. "But don't we all?" "I feel like I certainly have as good a chance as anybody". Apparently, he's found his groove. "So anytime I can come across the pond and play links it's special". "I think that's one of the most hard things I've done". And I'm definitely a freer player on the golf course.

"Yes, I'm watching the tennis, but I'm watching him more than anything, and seeing what I can pick up". I shot 81, so be it.

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More playing. Less talking. He has won five of his last six 36-hole leads. Matt Kuchar is 39 years old now.

Rose was a slight 17-year-old golfer wearing a baggy red sweater and a wide smile when he produced one of the British Open's iconic moments in 1998, holing out from 45 yards for eagle at the 72nd hole to secure a tie for fourth place.

Is there a connection?

"One thing these babies don't like is water", veteran Getty Images photographer David Cannon said of his cameras, but added that extreme conditions do make for "great pictures". But there's no denying that Casey and Kuchar are in great shape after Thursday.

He's also amazed that it remains his best finish at his home major. He also opened with a 66 last month at the U.S. Open. Koepka was the seventh straight first-time victor of a major.

"As much as you want to challenge yourself, really it's just luck", said the South African. It wasn't that I could look within myself.

After seven straight pars, he took advantage of the wind at his back on No. 8 for his first birdie, and then he ran off three in a row starting with the 11th that heads back toward the sea into the wind. His usual weapon didn't pay off.

There was no such magic on his return with a double bogey, one other dropped shot and no birdies in an opening 73 which left him with plenty to do on Friday to remain in the tournament. "I hit a pretty good drive on the last hole, I just didn't think I was going to reach that bunker", he said.

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The model nailed Sergio Garcia 's epic Masters win entering the weekend. "It was a bad day", he said.

"It's still The Open and I shot six-over", he said, "but to be honest I'm just thinking about playing tomorrow".

Although his putting cost him a stroke or two, Henrik Stenson (69) opened the defense of his title with a solid under-par round.

U.S. Presidents Cup captain Steve Stricker (70) made the best despite an early tee time.

By 5:30 p.m. the rain was so heavy play had to be suspended to allow greenstaff to clear puddles on some greens.

"It feels back in the routine now", Koepka said. "I warmed up and like, geez, we've got our work cut out for us today".

World No. 1 Dustin Johnson escaped the halfway cut, which fell at five over, but plenty of major winners fell foul, including last year's runner-up Phil Mickelson. "He was nasty." - Welshman Stuart Manley, a promising junior footballer, gives his opinion on former opponent and ex-Liverpool and Newcastle striker Craig Bellamy. "The Open Championship at Royal Birkdale may be my favourite links course of any on the rotation".

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