Pro golf: American trio leads British Open after first round

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Pro golf: American trio leads British Open after first round

"Regardless of your age, if you're in this field you have a dream to win the title", said Kuchar when reminded that five of the last six Open champions were aged 39 or older. "It was just a matter of time for them".

A week shy of his 24th birthday, a player so often hailed for his maturity has carried the air of a grizzled veteran in Southport, totally prepared for whatever challenges he might face.

The national telecast will begin at 4:30 a.m. ET on The Golf Channel. The next two years, even with two victories in each one, gave him an appreciation of how Tiger Woods dominated for so long.

"It could take three weeks to recover from this", Lyle said that day.

But despite some players finding a shorter and more efficient alternative route during Monday's practice round, the same won't be happening on the 9th hole at Royal Birkdale at the 146th Open this week.

It sometimes comes down to the luck of the draw.

"Honestly, right now I'm happy to be inside, first and foremost", said Spieth, the Masters and US Open victor in 2015, after his round. From the middle of the greens out here you can putt and have a pretty good look at just about any hole.

Rory McIlroy didn't need another scolding from his caddie or a reminder of what he had to do.

Four-time major victor McIlroy had been five over par after six holes in his first round, but he did not record another bogey until the 13th hole of his second round. Thomas made another double bogey on the 13th hole and shot 80. The biggest break came at No. 10, when the rain was pounding Royal Birkdale. When will it return? "With everyone saying bad weather is coming, it was a case of making hay while the sun shines so it was important to capitalise on the conditions".

It doesn't seem fair, not that golf was ever meant to be that.

"If it's an afternoon round and the other side has already played the morning, that's when it's tough".

His name was on the claret jug by the end of the week.

Day concedes he'll tee off with his golf game scratchy and merely hoping to compete rather than expecting to win.

Defending champion Henrik Stenson, who played with Spieth, had a 71.

On the par-3 12th, he stuck his tee shot to a few inches to set up another birdie.

Defending champion Stenson, who beat Phil Mickelson in an epic final-day duel at Royal Troon a year ago, has vowed to add skydiving to his Claret Jug escapades, which include taking the trophy jet-skiing, should he win again.

Brooks Koepka had been level with Spieth and Kuchar overnight but the current US Open champion struggled a little more in the afternoon rain - which at one point forced a temporary halt to play as greens became waterlogged. I actually didn't see anyone hit a shot, but we were certainly asked as an option.

"Because you're like, 'I can't shoot those scores". Noren is the better play of the two Swedes. Though he was just 1-over in the wind on the back nine in his second round, he didn't have a putt for birdie until the 17th hole and had to rely on his short game to finish off his round.

"To be ... under par for this championship after the way I started, I'm ecstatic with that", he said. "I thought, 'I'll just hit it over Radar's head'".

And we saw how that turned out.

In his regular job, Tim Mickelson is the manager of Spaniard Jon Rahm, 22, who was playing directly in front of Mickelson's group. He complained that week about the conditions and said he would rather play when it's 80, sunny and not windy.

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