18.15 BIRDIE for Ernie Els. And my he deserves it. It raises no more than a wry smile from the South African whose endured a very very long 16 holes so far. Bubba also birdies to go to +3.
18.14 Zach Johson’s going into the 18th after a bogey to leave him par. His partner Martin Kaymer remains at +1.
18.09 Adam Scott and co. are out on the 16th. Justin Rose finds the bunker with his tee.
18.00 Boo Weekley can put his feet up after a very good round of 69. The low-scoring has subsided with the latter groups, and three-under looks like a solid score going into tomorrow. The forecast is warm and windy for Friday.
17.52 Ernie Els can’t even buy himself a birdie right now. The Royal Latham champion is now at +8 through the 15th.
17.49 BIRDIE: Adam Scott’s back at -4 and two off Rory’s lead with five remaining.
17.48 The summit remains as it was around 2pm today. Suddenly Tiger’s round doesn’t look too shabby…
17.45 And the dropped shots continue. This time it’s Lee – who bogeys on the 12th to get back to -1. Looks like a slight pick-up in wind is causing plenty of putts to dribble around the pins.
17.42 Of the potential challengers still out on the course, Aussie Adam Scott is three shots behind through 13, with two par five holes to go. Justin Rose is -1, Dufner and Westwood are on -2 and Zach Johnson’s at -1.
17.37 Boo Weekley finishes off with a birdie at the 18th to go in a -3. Adam Scott’s dropped a shot at the 12th to be pegged back into the three under crowd too.
17.36 It will be a day to remember for John Singleton however. Here’s his verdict on playing at the Open, minutes away from his usual workplace, a factory down the road from the links:
“That was probably one of the best times of my life. I just wanted to enjoy it. I may never get the chance again.”
And the 30-year-old qualifier isn’t letting his round of 78 get to him: “I just played in the Open championship. I can always take that away with me.”
17.31 Just over 11 hours since David Howell got the Open underway this morning. And it’s all fizzling out a little in the early evening hours. Adam Scott aside, some very conservative hitting going on. Irons off the tee, not many balls finding the fairway, and the putting has been nothing to write home about…
17.27 Martin Kaymer isn’t managing to channel the Tuetonic will and expansive play we’ve seen from him at Pinehurst or Die Mannschaft in Brazil. He falls short with his putt at the 14th to bogey for -1.
17.24 BOGEY: Shot dropped for Mickelson at the 13th. The reigning champ is back to par. Nobody has yet to make the most of the back nine so far this afternoon.
17.22 WOWZER from Zach Johnson. He’s only gone an holed an uphill chip for his par at the 14th. Remains -3.
17.18 Reasons for Bubba to Cheer Up:
17.12 Bubba Watson’s real name is Gerry Lester. We’ve just been reminded of this by our BBC commentating overlords. Gerry may well of heard, as the moody American bogeys for +3. All gone Pete Tong in the last three holes.
17.09 A story of early morning glory here at Hoylake. The early risers have, on average, shot rounds of 72.4 compared to 75.3 for the afternoon three-balls. Steep.
16.59 Bubba is well and truly ruffled. Not quite sure what’s got to him, but the American misses from all of about 12 inches, and does an Ernie, rushing his bogey follow-up. He finishes with a seven at the par 5 11th, and goes +2.
16.56 Adam Scott the only challenger of note for the summit
16.53 Alex Winter writes in to rightly tell me off for an egregious use of an Americanism – pants (for trousers). Alex:
Enjoying the live Open blog but please protect British English! Definition of pants in English: “British Underpants or knickers.”
Consider my knuckles well and truly rapped, Alex.
16.50 Bubba’s not a happy bunny. “There’s a thousand people on this fairway and I’m just trying to play golf” he’s heard saying on the course mic as he makes an approach on the 11th. Can’t really see what he’s complaning about from the television angle. No throngs of crowds in his way…
16.44 Oh hello, Lee Westwood. He may have been down on his chances before the championships began, but it’s been a decent start for the Englishman. He holes a 10 footer to get to -2.
16.42 A searing front nine from world number 1 Adam Scott. He makes the turn at -4 and that broomstick putter seems to be just the thing. Royal Lytham seems a long long time ago now. Just ask Ernie.
16.41 Some good news for Ernie Els, whose had a rotter of day. Chin up EE: at least you’re not Bryden Macpherson, who’s shot a round of 90 today. The 24-year-old is bringing up the rear, back in the clubhouse at +18.
16.35 More on smarthphone gate. From Woods’ press conference:
“People were taking pictures – like we had it all day today. There was a lot of cameras out there. We were backing off a lot of shots and a lot of people moving around. It was tough.
“Unfortunately people just don’t put their phones on silent or some of the professionals guys were getting on the trigger a little early.” Later he added: “Just put it on silent. Just put it on silent.”
16.33 EAGLE: Japan’s Miyazato sinks a monster eagle to go -2 after the 10th.
16.32 Adam Scott misses the chance to creep up on Rory’s lead. He takes his giant putter in hand on the 8th, but is excruciatingly short with the putt. Scott is still at -3, while Rose has pulled one back to -1 as they head into the the 9th.
16.30 John Daly’s dispensed with his Spongebab Squarebants trousers for these all-together more sobering pair of of turqoise, Picasso-inspired ‘pants’. (He’s +2 through six).
16.27 The par five 10th is a “humpy and bumpy” one. Here’s how Mickelson et al stand going into the first of the back nine holes, all 530 yards of it:
16.25 The first flash of red on Phil Mickelson’s scorecard. He birdies to go -1 after the ninth. Bogey for Bubba on the same hole after he shanks his par effort. He’s back to -1.
16.23 Some flash photography quibbles plagued the Tiger circus out on course earlier in the day. Woods had to step back from an approach shot on the last few holes after it looked like one spectator hit the flash just as he was setting himself. Scourge of the modern game, those smarthphones.
16.19 Hoylake: quite pretty
16.16 The low-scoring of the morning and early afternoon looks to be subsiding as the winds are picking up at Royal Liverpool. Adam Scott remains the best of the lot on the front nine so far, at -3. Boo Weekley’s also three under at the 12th.
16.14 EAGLE: American Nick Watney holes in three on the 16th. That brings him to +1 for the day.
16.07 The final three-ball of the day is teeing off, at a cool 16.07. We started at 06.30 so Byeong-Hun An, Scott Jamieson and Chris Rodgers have had to wait their turn. And they’re all pretty solid tee shots. Not many to see them off, but they won’t care.
16.01 BOGEY: Phil’s short-game lets him down, and he’s dropped his first shot of the day. Here’s how they stand after the 7th.
15.59 BIRDIE: back-to-back birdies for Lee W. He’s at -2 and playing pretty aggressive stuff so far. It’s working.
15.58 BOGEY: Justin Rose can’t hole his putt from a couple of feet and gives back the shot he gained at the fifth.
Adam Scott: -3
Jason Dufner: -1
Justin Rose: -1
15.56 Justin Rose’s second shot on the par three sixth leaves him with a decent putt for par.
15.55 India’s Anirban Lahiri finished the day with a round of 75 (+3)
15.53 BIRDIE: Zac Johnson sinks one to go -2 and is now four behind the leader. Martin Kaymer’s recovered a little from his horrible seven, and remains at +1.
15.50 Mickelson et al are on the par four 7th. Been a punishing one all day, averaging 4.4 strokes. Phil’s second finds the green with his second.
15.47 A factoid that never ceases to amaze. The last Englishman to win the Open in England? Tony Jacklin, way back in 1969.
15.46 BIRDIE: Justin Rose gets some red on his scorecard. Here’s how things stand after the fifth:
Adam Scott: -3
Jason Dufner: -1
Justin Rose: -1
15.44 EAGLE! Adam Scott holes the fourth eagle of the day on the par five 5th. That’s the world number one to -3 and leaping up the scoreboard.
15.42 Rory’s clubhouse lead looks safe for now. Of the golfers out on the course, Japan’s Tsukada is three shots behind through the 17th, while Boo Weekley is also -3 going into the back nine. Bubba Watson is -2 after six.
15.39 BIRDIE: Lee’s in the red. Holes with aplomb. One under.
15.37 My oh my. Lee Westwood’s nearly finds the flag for an eagle on the fourth. Brilliant iron approach and a birdie chance for the Nottingham man now. He’s level as we stand.
15.32 The three-ball out at the 5th (par 5):
15.28 Boo Weekly joins the pack at -3. The Hoylake crowds are too polite to boo Boo, but doesn’t mean I can’t do it. Boooooooooooo
15.25 Bubba Watson’s is not a man whose ever made great shakes at the Open. But the two-time Masters winner has back-to-back birdies under his belt: -2 after five holes is Bubbs.
15.24 And this is one of the loudest cheers of the day, for amatuer Wirral man, John Singleton. He’s finished with a round of 78, a single birdy at the tenth his highlight after a round of pars over the first nine. Well done that man.
15.22 Would have been one of the loudest cheers of the day if Ernie Els drained his birdie putt at the fifth. But it just falls short. Remains at +5.
15.19 Recap of the group on the 5th (par 5):
15.18...And Kaymer’s pulled his putt over the hole. The German will remain at +1 after 6.
15.16 Double-bogey for Martin Kaymer at the par 5 puts him at +1. But his tee shot at the sixth is a beauty. Should give him a chance to pull one back.
15.10 Truly painful stuff from Ernier Els today. After a calamitious triple bogey he misses another short one on par the four. Five over for the S’Affer
15.09 It’s the kind of day to fill your boots at Royal Liverpool. Near perfect conditions in the Wirral and a total of 46 golfers are under par so far…
15.05 Henrik Stenson’s been talking about his red-mist moment on the 17th. The Swede snapped his club straight in half after finding the rough.
“I got stuck (in the rough) on 17, could not get it out with two whacks and in the end it was a good bogey.” said the world number 2. ” I would have liked to be in red figures but considering where I was after three shots on 17, level par is not bad.”
“The gap wedge might need a bit of love after lunch.”
Asked if he would be able to get it repaired in time for Friday’s second round, Stenson added: “That’s the problem, we have them (club manufacturers) here so we know we can get them fixed quickly.”
15.02 BIRDIE: Bubba Watson’s in the red, holing at the fourth. Mickelson holds for par.
14.58 Lee Westwood’s rescued a very good par at the first.
Here’s why the nearly man of British golf hasn’t got his hopes up for Hoylake.
14.50 The three-unders have a new member. Japan’s Noshinobu Tsukada birdies the 13th and 14th to move within three of the clubhouse leader, McIlroy
14.37 No rest for Tiger. Keen to shake off the cobwebs, Woods is straight back on the practice fairways after completing only his third round of competitive golf post-surgery today.
14.36 Earlier we bought you a snap of David Moyes with a young fan posted on Instagram. Now he’s posing by the clubhouse in some rather natty shades. Hello, Dave.
14.33 The Big Easy is making life difficult for himself. Els is already +4 after two holes. Mickelson and Bubba par to remain level.
14.32 Rose is coming into the Royal Liverpool with the Scottish Open under his belt. The last guy to do the British double was Phil Mickelson last year…
14.28 World number 1. Adam Scott is at the first. Next up is many people’s favourite for the Jug, Justin Rose. The Englishman’s finish of 3rd as a 17-year-old at Birkdale is still his best Open finish. That was way back in ’98. Jason Duffner makes up the three-ball, in a strange grey-yellow ensemble. All three men find the fairway.
14.25 Factory worker John Singleton has lost his way a little. He’s now +4 after 14 after being even over the front nine.
14.22 Rory brushes off his Friday wobbles, speaking to the BBC:
“I’m playing well, swingly nicely, held a few nice putts. Hopefully another solid round of golf tomorrow.“
14.20 Oh dear oh dear. Ernie Els has triple-bogeyed at the first. Horribly sloppy stuff from the South African who rushes a bogey putt from a few inches. He then back-hands the follow up and misses that too from all of a few centimetres. Not nice to see.
14.16 Tiger Woods has been speaking about his fightback to the Beeb:
“I stayed patient, I felt somebody would shoot -7 today and if I could shoot under par, maybe just sneak a couple here and there, I’d be alright.
“When you’re off for four months it can be tough. My rounds at home were really good, I was excited how I was playing at home and if I can do that at home, I can do that here.”
“I tried to play through [the pain] but it got to the point that my standard of living was miserable. It felt nice to not have that pain going down my leg like before.”
14.13 Here’s Oliver Brown’s verdict on Tiger’s late surge. Read it all HERE.
By increments the three-time champion began to discover his rhythm, and it was a commendable effort to limit the early damage in reaching the turn at only one over. From there he found a different gear, or at least a happier memory of the conditions here eight years ago, where he prevailed in similarly sweltering conditions. After he sank a putt from off the green at the 18th the first ‘Tiger roar’ reverberated across the links, a semblance of the old strut returned as he arrowed his approach at the 12th to eight feet to set up a second straight birdie. When a third ensued with a relative tap-in at the 13th, he was firmly back in the quest.
Not even the slight derailment of a bogey at the 14th could sabotage his fine work, as Woods capitalised on the opportunities of Hoylake’s closing stretch of two par-fives in the final three holes with another beautiful chip at the 16th, to move to three under. A misjudgment at the last meant he had to play out of the greenside bunker from right beneath the lip, but a tidy escape and two-putt was good enough to seal an opening 69 and confirm of a Tiger free of back pain could yet be a dangerous beast indeed.
14.08 Masters runner-up and bright young thing of American golf Jordan Spieth finishes his round at -1. The 20-year-old recovered well after consecutive bogeys at the 5th and 6th
14.05 NEW CLUBHOUSE LEADER: Rory’s got a 20ft putt for birdie but it falls just an inch short. He won’t mind a jot. A perfect scorecard for the Northern Irishman who goes in with a round of 66 and no dropped shots. It’s been near perfect conditions today at Hoylake and the 25-year-old has made the most of them. Recent form would suggest he’d have a storming first day, and so it proves.
Friday’s haven’t been his favourite however…
14.02 Here’s a spicy looking three-ball to keep an eye on: Teeing off right now we have current Claret Jug holder Phil Mickelson, 2012’s champion Ernie Els & Masters winner Bubba Watson.
Here’s a recap of that brilliant round of 66 from Mickelson on one Sunday at Muirfield:
13.57 Rory will approach the grandstand on the 18th in the bunker. Tiger saved a very good par from a similar position. Rory’s short-game has been flawless so far today and he’ll need it again to remain one shot up
13.56 Former Open winner Padraig Harrington finishes his round at +2 with a birdie on the last. Harrington still the last man to win back-to-back majors back in 2008.
13.51 Reigning US Open champ Martin Kaymer’s on the 1st. He finds the bunker with his approach, but then produces an exquisite sand-save on the par 4.
13.47 That Henrik Stenson knee-snapper…
13.46 McIlroy holds his nerve to make par at the 17th. Still leading by one shot with a par 5 remaining.
13.43 TIGER FINISHES ON -3
That’s a ruddy good round of golf for a man who was on an operating table four months ago. Woods got in to his stride on the back nine with five birdies, carried on by the brilliant Hoylake crowds. He goes into the clubhouse only two behind the lead, and ahead of his three-ball of Cabrera (+5) and Stenson (par).
13.41 Martin Kaymer, golf’s Thomas Muller, has teed off at the first.
13.39 Tiger finds himself under the bank on the 18th’s bunker. Woods manages to claw it out to give himself a good chance to finish with a par.
13.38 Henrik Stenson’s temper-tantrum seems to have done him the world of good. His third shot at the 18th gives him a birdie chance.
Meanwhile, Angel Cabrera’s decent early start is all but a distant memory as he ends his day back at the clubhouse at +5.
13.36 Rory’s teed off at the 17th par 4. Only misses the green by a hop…he leads by one
13.32 Tiger’s found the bunker with his second on the 18th. Won’t trouble him too much however as he should find the pin with his follow up. His partners Cabrera and Stenson both find the green with their approaches.
13.30 It’s been a day for the millenials so far at Hoylake. Clubhouse leader Matteo Manassero, 21, went in with a round of 67. He’s rightly pleased:
“It’s been a wonderful morning weather wise and with my game like that it’s a great start to my Open Championship. I played solid and you have to do that in this weather to make birdies. That’s what I did, it was a nice round of golf.”
13.26 NEW LEADER Rory’s out of the sand with a beautiful bunker shot. Leaves himself with a simple birdie shot to go -6 up. The 25-year-old is the only man making the most of today’s wonderful conditions so far. Just nobody mention anything about a bad second day.
13.22 Almost another one of those magic Hoylake moments from Tiger. Has a chance to birdie with a monster putt at the 17th. It races towards the pin but skittles over.
13.21 Rory’s found the bunker at the 16th…
13.19 World no.2 Henrik Stenson’s feeling the heat in the Wirral. The Swede snaps his club over his knee, straight in to two at the 17th. Ouch!
13.18 Luuuuuke Donald finishes with a birdie at the last. A good end to an otherwise struggle of a day for Donald. Finishes +1.
13.16 Sergio Garcia finishes with a round of 68. An early leader for most of the morning, the Spaniard only dropped a single shot at the 10th. Might be disappointed not to have kicked on after a thrilling first nine.
13.14 Local boy John Singleton has played the front-nine of his dreams. He’s level going into the 10th. Must be wondering what all the fuss is about…
13.12 Tiger’s looking to finish strongly. Hits a great second shot from the rough at the par 4 17th. A four here with the par 5 to go will suit very nicely. Only two shots off the pace.
13.10 It’s been a while since we checked up on him, but Ian Poulter’s heroics after hitting eagle followed by birdie, haven’t continued. The Gooner is back at +2 with four holes remaining.
13.09 Rory remains -5 with two holes to play…
13.06 Darren Clarke finishes his round with a birdie to go in at par with a round of 72. The Irishman, whose lost 4 stone in nine months, is probably heading straight to the gym.
13.02 BIRDIE:Tiger was in trouble after a woeful tee-shot at the par 5 16th. But his third shot chip gets him out of trouble in quite exquisite style. Now -3.
13.00 USA’s forthcoming Ryder Cup captain Tom Watson completes a round of 73. The five-times winner of the competition started with a birdie at the first. Time to put your feet up, Tom.
12.56 Rickie Fowler drops a shot to go -3 and is now two behind the leaders. He was ahead of them all coming into the back nine, but the American still has a par 5 at the 18th to go. We’ve already seen one eagle at the last this morning…
12.55 Thomas Bjorn is back in the clubhouse with a round of 70. Two birdies mark his scorecard. And all pars after that. Lovely.
12.54 Looking a bit Europe v USA at the top of the scorecard
12.53 Francesco Molinari speaking after his eagle on the 18th matched his brother’s round this morning:
“My brother was two or three groups in front and I kept an eye on him. He had a faster start so I had to catch up. I was just happy to post a good score and it’s put me in a good position hopefully.
“We’ve played together in the last group a couple of times and he finished winning both tournaments so I need to improve my record when I’m playing alongside him but there’s a lot of golf to go.”
12.50 Tiger’s back to two-under with three to play.
12.48 Jim Furyk’s at the last, and has a chance to go in as joint leader. Currently -4 and finds the fairway with his tee. Brilliant day for the veteran.
12.43 NEW CLUBHOUSE LEADER: That final par 5 has been a favourite for our golfers today. And 21-year-old Matteo Mannassero produces a score of 67, with a birdie on the last, to go in -5.
12.41 The man of the moment: Rory leads the pack on -5 after 13. As noticed by the Beeb, the Northern Irishman’s dispensed with practice putts on the green today. Straight up and in.
12.39 Luke Donald does come into the Open in the best of form. He’s +2 up and rims his birdie opportunity at the 16th. Sergio makes par at the same hole, to go in -4 with two to play.
12.37 “Inexcplicably poor” is the verdict on Sergio’s birdie opportunity at the 16th. Garcia falls well short of the pin but his playmate Fowler is back at -4.
12.33 BOGEY Woods is back in trouble on the par 4 14th. Second shot is overhit and his third chip is way off the flag. His par putt rims the hole, but it’s not to be. He’s back at -1
12.31 Anything one Molinari can do, the other can at least match. Francesco joins his brother in the clubhouse at -4 after a round of 68.
12.26 NEW LEADER: McIlroy takes the outright lead on five under as he puts within 10 feet of the hole on the 12th.
12.21 BIRDIE: Ian Poulter follows up his eagle with a birdie to get back to +1. The fightback is well and truly on.
12.20 Fowler falls back to -3 after missing an easy putt
12.19 BIRDIE A hat-trick of birdies for Tiger puts him only two behind the leaders at -2. And to think we’d written him off after the first nine…
12.17 EAGLE: And it had to be that man Ian Poulter. He claws back to +2 at the 10th after a horrendous first nine holes. Best moment in an otherwise forgettable day for Poulter.
12.13 Tiger on the charge? He tees off to fall within feet of the flag at the par 3 13th.
12.11 Edoardo Molinari is among the clubhouse leaders after a round of 68 this morning.
“I hit the ball very well, and it was good to finish with two birdies at the last two par fives. It’s very important you keep the ball in play from the tee. A lot of times you were just playing for the middle of the green,” the Italian told the BBC.
“The atmosphere is fantastic. Everytime you play an Open it’s unbelievable.”
12.08 BIRDIE: Tiger is in the red for the first time today. He sinks a 7-footer for his second consecutive birdie to go -1.
12.06 Rory’s second shot at the par 4 11th is short of the green by about 10-15 yards. The leader will be battling for par.
12.01 ROMANCE WATCH: That man John Singleton is even after five holes. Here’s his story.
11.58 NEW CO-LEADER: And Rory joins them. Birdie putt puts him at -4. A perfect scorecard so far for McIlroy. Not a blemish on it.
11.56 A cluster of players now co-lead at -4
11.53 A conservatively dressed Ian Poulter has his Arsenal bag in tow in the Scouse heartlands, but it’s not serving him well so far. The Englishman is currently +4 after nine…
11.50 NEW JOINT-LEADER: Sergio Garcia joins his playmate Fowler on -4 after the 12th. Brilliant hole from the Spaniard, who has the wind in his sails (despite the fact there’s not much wind to be had).
11.49 BIRDIE. Tiger Woods with only his second birdie of the day, and he’s back to par.
11.44 Spotted: David Moyes is perilously close to his old haunt at Everton FC…
11.43 NEW LEADER: Finally, someone makes -4. And it’s American Rickie Fowler. He’s out with Luke and Sergio today and has looked every bit as impressive as his fellow Europeans.
11.41 Rory completes the front nine at -3. Another exceptionally strong start to a major from the Northern Irishman. But can he continue…
11.39 Sergio Garcia’s long-game has been exceptional so far today. A 50 ft putt for a birdie is just inches short. Par for Serg. Remains at -3.
11.37 NEW CO-LEADER: The 11th player to go -3 is Stephen Gallacher. Nobody threatening to burst ahead from the pack however.
11.36 More sloppy stuff from Tiger. Has a birdie putt form a few feet, it circles the hole but won’t sink. Remains +1.
11.34 Matsuyama (-3) missed the opportunity to take the lead at the 8th. He’s out with Rory again today, and finished 6th at Muirfield last year. The Japanese’s tee shot at the par 3 ninth is skewed wide, but Rory finds the green with his eight iron.
11.31 Woods’ third shot at the par 5 10th: He’s hitting against the wind, and lands it within a few feet of the flag. Birdie chance to get back to even for Tiger.
11.30 A meme that was just waiting to happen:
11.29 NEW CO-LEADERS Japan’s Oda joins our co-leaders on -3. And back in the clubhouse is Marc Leishman whose finished with a round of 69, with Rob K at -3.
11.28 Another good birdie chance goes begging for Rory. Brilliant start so far from the Northern Irishman. Birdie chances at every hole so far. He’s -3 after eight.
11.25 Fowler’s missed the chance to head the leaderboard at -4, at the 11th. So as you were.
11.24 Your scoreboard, ladies and gentleman…
11.23 Stunning from Garcia. Remains three-under with a beautiful hit at the par 3 11th. He’s been struggling at the last few holes, but that was a sumptuous hole.
11.21 Par 5 10th for Tiger and co. Lovely tee shot from Woods who finds the middle of the fairway. Is five shots behind the leaders.
11.16 Not been Tiger’s day so far. He misses a very decent birdie chance at the 9th. Remains +1 heading into the back nine.
11.15 NEW LEADER: Rickie, and definitely not Robbie, Fowler is the new leader at -4 under after the 10th.
11.12 Sergio has missed his par put on the par 5 10th. A bad hole for the Spaniard, he’s back to -2.
11.08 IN THE HOLE: Aussie Matt Jones finishes the day with a three at the 18th, birdying from the bunker on the left. Shout for shot of the day, and he’s back in the clubhouse with a very respectable -1 after he was +4 after 3.
11.05 So close, Tiger. Monster putt attempt for birdie at the 8th. It’s racing in but runs agonisingly over the hole. Still +1 for the former champ. Stenson makes the par 4, and is level for the day.
11.02 They’re serving him well so far, but Rory’s blue trousers are far more objectionable than the whites, in my humble opinion.
10.59 NEW JOINT LEADER: Rory McIroy’s strong start continues. He’s in the co-lead at -3 after a birdie at the 6th.
10.54 Matteo Manassero joins the co-leaders at -3 after a birdie on the 11th.
Here’s Hoylake…(via BBC)
10.52 Just in case you were wondering…tee-off times for some big names:
14:05 Phil Mickelson, 14:27 Justin Rose, 14:38 Lee Westwood
10.51 And while all that was happening, Robert Karlsson his putting his feet up as clubhouse leader, finishing on -3.
10.48 Back to the 5th. Spieth makes a decent bogey after a torrid hole to get back to -1. Matsuyama makes par and is -2 with Rory.
10.46 The last two Open winners: Phil Mickelson at 44 at Muifield and Ernie Els in 2012, at the ripe old age of 42. The 44-year old Jim Furyk is at -2…contender?
10.42 We’re in Liverpool (sort of). Peter Alliss has confused Rickie Fowler with Robbie Fowler.
Anyway, he’s holed a beaut at the 8th to go into the joint lead at -3.
10.40 Fashion watch: White trousers. What’s the deal with them bemaons Peter Alliss. “You’d think this was a painter and decorator competition.”
Well I’m a fan. The more Johnny Borrell mimics on the greens the better. A la, Stewart Cink:
10.36 Woods is getting over his horrible bogey-bogey start. Another par for Tiger at the 7th. Remains at +1.
10.34 One of the biggest roars of the day for John Singleton at the first. The local factory worker from the Wirral, whose made it at Hoylake as an amateur, looked nervous at the tee. Walks away a few times but hits a lovely iron. Romance staus: well and truly alive.
“My story almost feels fake” says the 30-year-old. It’s tin-cup stuff. Even the Yanks are impressed.
10.31 The opening nine, courtesy of Graeme McDowell on Facebook
10.27 Nick Faldo, the last Englishman to win an Open back at Muirfield in 1992, has teed off at Hoylake. Sir Nick’s out with Todd Hamilton and Mark Calcavecchia.
10.24 Jordan Spieth hits a near perfect approach at the fourth centimetres from the flag. Birdie chance for the American, as there will be for Rory, who can hole from a few feet to go -2.
10.22 Bag watch: Rickie Fowler’s red and white number reads: RickieFowler.com.
10.21 Tiger’s first birdie of the day on the part five 6th. Lots of whooping and whistling commences. He’s now back to +1.
His play-mate Stenson follows up with a birdie of his own. This group is looking up at last.
10.18 Early starter Robert Karlsson has joined our leaders on -3, after two consecutive birdies on the 16th.
A total of 24 players under par so far today.
10.14 Ian Poulter’s teed off, Arsenal bag in tow. He’s out with Dustin Johnson and Jimmy Walker
10.11 Jordan Spieth holes a wonderful putt to make par on the third. Rory has a birdie opportunity from a few feet, but skirts the pin. Sinks it for par however. Remains -1.
10.09 Par for the triumvirate of Sergio (-3), Luke (par) and Fowler is (-2) at the 5th.
10.07 Tiger’s got off to a shaky start this morning. Not even a hint at a birdie yet, but he’s made par on the fourth. Still +2.
10.06 Rory’s got off to a very nice start. But we all knew he would. Here’s how his first rounds fare against his second days (*wince*).
10.01 Molinari has a chance to take the lead and go -4 with a birdie putt but falls short on at the sixth.
09.59 Here’s Dorothy Hull’s thoughts on the Tiger-Circus. She’s not happy.
What is the media’s obsession with this man! No doubting his golfing talent in the past but we are not all hoping for a return to those days when there are so many up and coming talented players of our own. Please stop harping on about Woods – he is yesterday’s news and totally boring
09.57 Luuuuuke Donald, whose out with Sergio and Rickie Fowler, is back to par after a birdy on the fifth.
09.56 Our opening group of Karlsson, Duval and Howell are at the 15. And the Swede birdies the hole to go -2.
Sergio meanwhile is a man on a mission. He’s birdied the third to go -3 after five.
09.52 Tiger makes his first par of the day. He’s still +2 after three. The group of Woods, Stenson and Cabrera have yet to get a birdie between them this morning.
09.50 WOW Rory. He picks out a six iron for his second at the second and it drops from the sky and creeps towards the flag. A yard out to make birdie. Wonderful shot.
09.47 The first ‘would you believe it’ moment from Peter Allison this morning. Angel Cabrera’s out of bounds with his third shot on the par four 3rd, by a good 20+ yards. Takes the shot again, and it’s only marginally better. A horror hole for the Argentine. He’s already +1 as we stand and a double-bogey beckons.
09.40 Rory misses a chance to birdie on the first. Par for the Irishman and for young Jordan Spieth, who makes a good four after being bunkered earlier on. A much better start for the kids compared to their more experience peers one hole in front.
09.39 Tiger’s going uphill for a monster birdie putt. He skirts the hole by centimetres and his putt for par is week. Bogey-bogey opening for Woods. Cabrera also misses par taking five shots on this tricky second hole. Stenson makes par and is still -1.
09.37 Garcia finds par on the 4th. He’s still two-under in a near-perfect start for the Spaniard.
09.34 Rory finds the green with a brilliant second on the opening hole. Speith pulls his into a bunker, but Matsuyama and McIroy have chances for a birdie.
A reminder that roaring first-round Rory broke the course record at the Royal Aberdeen last week with 64. He tailed-off after that and his 2010 finish of third place is still his best Open finish.
09.30 Tiger’s second at the second hole finds the green. He’s heard whispering ‘one yard’ on the TV mics, and he makes it. Chance for a birdie for the former champ.
09.28 A bright blue and grey speckled Rory tees off with a solid iron shot on the 458-yard first (par 4). Same goes for Matsuyama. Jordan Spieth, who made his debut at the Open as a pro only two years ago, completes a very impressive round of opening shots from the young men.
09.26 The bright young things are up at the first. Rory, Jordan Spieth, the 20yr old who pushed Bubba all the way at Augusta, and Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama, 22.
(H/T Auntie Beeb…)
09.23 Tiger et al make their way to the par 4 second. Cabrera and Stenson find similar positions with their irons. Tiger’s in a bit of rough but nothing too serious. Meanwhile, Sergio is -2 after three. The canary is not being pummelled so far.
09.19 Wood’s playing mate Stenson also +1. Cabrera meanwhile makes par.
09.18 Tiger’s third from the bunker has him out, but down the undulated hill and way past the pin. His fourth misses the hole by a good few feet, and Tiger’s +1 after the first. Starts with a bogey.
09.15 Tiger. Hoylake. You all know what happened the last time these two things met, but always nice to have a reminder
And here’s those four rounds recalled by the men who were there. Except for Rory. He was on holiday with his parents in Spain.
09.11 Tiger’s pulled his second into the bunker on the par 4 first. Stenson does the same on the other side of the hole but Cabrera does find the green. Outside birdie chance for the Argentine.
09.09 Top of the pops is Dutchman Davie van der Walt whose got the first eagle at this year’s championship
09.06 A glorious morning in the Wirral already. Tiger tees off with a perfectly decent iron. Bizarrely, he’s never his a birdie on the opening hole at an Open and then gone on to win, say the Beeb stats people.
Cabrera opts to go big and to rapturous applause. A man, Peter Allison reminds us, “who strikes a blow for those that go to the gym.” A white capped Stenson completes the three-ball with a lovely iron. We’re rocking and rolling.
09.00 That famous BBC theme tune has got us going and Hazel Irvine’s got her hands on the Claret Jug. Things must be getting goo. And in around about four minutes from now, Tiger Woods will be stepping on to the first along with Argentine Angel Cabrera and world number 2, Henrik Stenson. Lots of attention rightly on Woods this week, whose making his first appearance at a major since his back operation.
But Stenson is many people’s favourites (including our man James Corrigan). The Swede has never won a major, but was second at Muirfield last year. Here’s Alaisdair Reid’s piece talking to the man.
08.55 Right, here we go. The 143rd Open is well underway this morning, and there will be 155 wannabes out on the course at the Royal Liverpool today vying for the Claret Jug.
Here’s a snippet of the leaderboard with the early group heading of Robert Karlsson, David Duval, and David Howell onto the back nine as we speak:
The opening shot of this year’s tournament was struck at a cool 6.30am by Englishman David Howell