Do the Scottish fans know their golf? Of course they do! Case in point: Phil Mickelson coming up the fairway on Hole #18. With a score of -8 — and a chance to go to -9 and set a new record at The Open — the cheering is loud but not anything rude like the “YOU THE MAN” shouts we hear in North American competitions. The whole crowd in the grandstands KNEW that Phil was having an awesome round because they keep track of what all the players are doing on the course.
The other players in his threesome knew exactly how great a round he was having too. Lee Westwood and Ernie Ells putted first, out of respect for Mickelson and his round, leaving him with with the stage to attempt his birdie putt. This wasn’t the final, this was round one, and that respect was incredible. So cool!
Phil is now putting for a 62 and a Major Championship Record.
He’s got about 14 feet to the hole. He makes his putt. It lips out. Oh no!
In the end, Leftie shoots a 63 and ties the Major Championship record last set by Rory McIlroy in 2010 at St. Andrews. Good for you Phil. His putter was smoking hot all day.
For me the Championship was exciting from the very first player off Hole #1. The day began with Colin Montgomery (age 53) making a double bogey on the 1st, but then he had FIVE BIRDIES on the front nine. Impressive.
Brilliant iron shots from Martin Kaymer.
Excellent putting by Sergio Garcia.
Louis Oosthuizen makes a hole-in-one on Hole #16
Those bunkers — some deep, some going straight up — gave us quite the exciting shots and decisions. Some were almost impossible shots, two shots to get the ball out weren’t uncommon, other shots were intentionally hit away from the pin and managed to stay on the green although the they were often 30-40′ away. A few had only inches to go and some even went in!
There were a few errant shots into the tall fescue grass, a few shots over the fence but not out of bounds but mostly there was a lot of fine golf shots today.
There were several hole-outs from the fairways.
Royal Troon was a golfer’s dream course today: sunny, calm, benign.
Expect the opposite tomorrow with rain and strong winds. The Open we know and love will really get going tomorrow.