Is this the unluckiest golf shot ever? Mark James hits flying bird knocking ball out of bounds

A BIRDIE, but not the one Mark James was after.

The Englishman's luck was well and truly out when hit a drive on the 17th at St Andrews on Thursday.

 Mark James could not believe his luck on the 17th at St Andrews

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Mark James could not believe his luck on the 17th at St Andrews

James, 64, was battling to stay in contention at the Senior British Open when his ball hit a seagull and ended up out of bounds.

It got worse, too, as he had to take another drive and ended up a with a triple-bogey.

The former Ryder Cup captain was two over at the time.

James went through the front nine three over with a 39.

 James shot hit a seagull in mid-air during his opening round at the Senior British Open

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James shot hit a seagull in mid-air during his opening round at the Senior British Open

He battled back and was was set to make the cut.

But the disaster on the 17th left him five over for his round and tied in 122nd, leaving him up against it on today in his bid to make the cut.

American Kirk Triplett and Thai player Thaworn Wiratchant were Thursday's first-round leaders at seven under.

Irishman Paul McGinley was a shot back at six under.

A BIRDIE, but not the one Mark James was after.