Published: Fri, July 20, 2018
Sport | By Wilson Duncan

Kevin Kisner shoots 66 to take early lead in British Open

Kevin Kisner shoots 66 to take early lead in British Open

"I'd get to play St. Andrew's for who knows, maybe six straight days?" It looked easy. Carnoustie looked gettable.

Another birdie at No. 4, and Tiger tacked his name on the front page of the leaderboard for much of the afternoon and evening in Scotland. He's put himself out of contention long before the weekend even approaches. That's how you win Opens!

Tiger Woods tries a little body English to help his putt on the ninth green.

Three Aussies - Adam Scott, Jason Day and Cameron Davis - finished at even-par 71 through the first round, five shots from the lead held by Kisner. I think with some of the spots I hit it off the tee I would take it.

"I've always loved playing links golf", the 14-times major victor told reporters.

"It was a really, really poor decision on the second shot and that cost me". "The mallet putter has grooves in it so it does roll initially a little bit faster and a little bit more true".

That's certainly true. Tiger made par at the two par 5s he's referencing, which was disappointing given how far his golf ball was rolling out. "I've been doing this for years, braces and bandages, just that this time it's actually visible", he said.

Woods' mood could perhaps be explained by his failure to recapture the form many associate with the successful golfer, who became the first athlete to earn over a billion dollars in his career in 2009. The ones he missed, though, led to bogeys. Just as he said, it could have been better, though, it also could have been worse. Another highlight: his long birdie putt on No. 11, one that brought back memories of Tiger putts of old...

Woods caused a bigger stir off the course when he arrived at Carnoustie wearing strips of tape on his neck to deal with soreness from a bad night's sleep earlier in the week. "I feel good about the game", he said as he targets the $1.89 million first prize.

Now 29, McIlroy is aiming to end a four-year drought without a major victory but the trend is towards the strong contingent from the United States maintaining a firm grip on the sport's biggest prizes. He's just outside the top 25 after 18 holes and only five back of Kisner. "The first time I played the Old Course was the Walker Cup in 1975". This year, 2 under might qualify.

Jon Rahm, Rory McIlroy, Zach Johnson, and Justin Thomas are among those tied with Willett.

However, as pointed out by Ian Poulter on Twitter at the time, players are told not to sign autographs until they've officially handed back their scorecards. Zero combined major championships.

Leishman was flying one shot off the lead after collecting four birdies in his first eight holes before fading to a one-over-par 72 in the hard afternoon conditions at Carnoustie.

Dustin Johnson, the world's No. 1 player, managed only one birdie in his round of 76, his highest start in the Open since his debut at Turnberry in 2009.

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