Round one of the 2018 Open Championship is in the books and it was a good one. A relatively unknown player in Erik van Rooyen took the lead early but was later passed by Kevin Kisner, who finished the day at five-under and currently sits alone at the top of the leaderboard.
Tony Finau, who is starting to become a regular at the top of major championship leaderboards, fired off an opening round of four-under and is tied with van Rooyen and Zander Lombard in second place.
Former Masters champion Danny Willett was able to find a groove on the brutal Carnoustie and finds himself tied for eighth with a ton of other big names.
Jon Rahm, Rory McIlroy, Zach Johnson, and Justin Thomas are among those tied with Willett.
Just behind that group are Players Champion, Webb Simpson, recent PGA Tour winner Kevin Na, last year’s runner-up to Jordan Spieth, Matt Kuchar, along with Rickie Fowler, former Open Champion, Henrik Stenson, as well as one of our sleepers, Alex Noren.
Tiger Woods got off to a hot start and was two-under for most of the day until the winds picked up a bit and the greens sped up. Woods finished his opening round at even par after carding three bogies on the back nine and sits five-strokes behind the leader Kisner in a tie for 32nd.
U.S. Open champion, Brooks Koepka, who, along with Dustin Johnson, proclaimed he would hit driver often in an attempt to power past the difficult fairway bunkers, went out in 41 and then turned it on and came home in 31 to finish at one-over.
DJ wasn’t as fortunate and made a terrible triple-bogey on the 18th hole; he’s currently five-over and needs a solid performance on Friday to see the weekend.
Jordan Spieth, who had a very aggressive putt during his first round that curled past one of the greenside pot bunkers …
… Justin Rose, Louis Oosthuizen, Lee Westwood, Tommy Fleetwood, Jimmy Walker, and Marc Leishman are one stroke behind Woods.
Phil Mickelson finished at two-over along with Paul Casey, Daniel Berger, and lucky man Ian Poulter.
Honestly, it doesn’t appear that the guys at one-over are completely out of the tournament. The weather is expected to deteriorate on Friday with rain and winds picking up, which will make scoring a bit more difficult on an already difficult course.
Other notable finishes:
+4 – Patrick Reed, Bubba Watson, Jason Dufner, Hideki Matsuyama, Bryson DeChambeau, Sergio Garcia