The first round of the 150th British Open, which takes place in Saint Andrews on a dry and rolling course, gave rise to an astonishing spectacle.
It is a young American (25 years old) who took the lead in the British Open 2022 after the first round. Cameron Young – the aptly named – signed a very fine 64 (8 birdies) which recalls a dazzling progression: the former student of Wake Forest did not appear in the world top 500 a year ago. His two victories in 2021 on the Korn Ferry Tour followed by several places of honor on the PGA Tour this season (2nd in the Sanderson Farms, in the Genesis Invitational, 3rd in the RBC Heritage) propelled him to the front of the stage… of the majors . Last May, Young finished a promising 3rd place in the USPGA Championship.
“Fantastic Beginning” by Rory McIlroy
On the dry and rolling fairways of the Old Course of St Andrews, Cameroon Young will have to resist this Friday against a pack of talented pursuers who have already declared themselves. Starting with Rory McIlroy, author of a 66 which he himself described as a “fantastic start”. “Today I did everything you’re supposed to do at St Andrews,” he added. Follows Australia’s Cameron Smith (-5) who, in his cheeky attacking style, ruffles the venerable members of the R&A as much with the quality of his play as with his mullet cut. We will also note the presence of the Englishman Robert Dinwiddie (-5) born in Scotland 39 years ago. World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler, but also Viktor Hovland and Dustin Johnson, all follow a small length (-4)…
As observers whisper in the hospitality pavilions of the Old Course that this could be Tiger Woods’ last British Open (he will be 51 in five years in the next rotation), this first round seems to support their analysis. . And it didn’t take long to be convinced: after only four holes, the American golf legend had posted a double and two bogeys to find himself at +4! Never losing his smile, Tiger Woods continued his first lap at St Andrews in slow motion. So much so that the Tiger, aligning a double and three additional bogeys for three birdies, seemed at times to be more in representation than in search of score.
His 78 of the day is his worst score at the British Open tied with a card returned in 2019 at Portrush. Far, very far on the leaderboard, Tiger Woods (+6, 146th) seems to be too late to hope to play this weekend on the Holy of Holies of courses. Even if you have to take all the necessary precautions, since anything can always happen with the American who won fifteen times in major tournaments!
On the French side, Victor Perez started in the morning with the hope of preserving all chances of qualifying for the weekend. And the Frenchman, who lives about twenty minutes north of St Andrews near Dundee, has achieved his goals. By playing a shot under par, the 107th player in the world seems launched to stop an unfortunate series of results in major tournaments. Faced with the few French journalists present at St Andrews, Perez (34th in the leaderboard) remained calm when asked the question: “Do you feel any particular pressure during the 2nd round, when you stay on a series of five missed cuts during your last appearances in major tournaments? “, the recent French winner in the Netherlands replied with serenity: “The pressure still exists, on all the tournaments during the 2nd round. I’m not going to put my cap on (showing his throat) because I’m playing in a major tournament and I absolutely have to pass the cut! »
This Friday, the 107th player in the world will start the second round at 2:37 p.m. local time (3:37 p.m. in France) with Canadian Mackenzie Hughes (+1) and Zimbabwean Scott Vincent (-3).
Ranking of the British Open after the 1st round (par 72):
Young (USA) -8
McIlroy (North Irl) -6
Cameron Smith (Aust.) -5… etc