While the majority of golf fans were sleeping in the States, the Open Championship kicked off on Thursday morning on the iconic Old Course.
What did you miss while you were sleeping? Grab some coffee and read up, then follow along for the rest of the day.
Ian Poulter’s lukewarm welcome
Ian Poulter is from England and a long-time European Ryder Cup stalwart, but there was a mixed reaction from the crowd when he teed off on Thursday morning.
Poulter, you might recall, is among the many pros who have been criticized for leaving the PGA Tour for LIV Golf. A few boos could be heard from the gallery when he was introduced, which even led to analyst Sam Torrance quipping: “I’ve never heard him being booed before. I wonder what he’s done wrong?”
Poulter proceeded to snap-hook his opening tee shot, although he still made par. He added an eagle at the ninth to turn in three under.
Barclay Brown grabbed the (very) early lead
Meet Barclay Brown! He’s a 21-year-old English amateur and was a member of last year’s Britain and Ireland Walker Cup team that played the U.S. at Seminole. He qualified for The Open with a three-shot win at his 36-hole qualifier.
He just finished his junior year at Stanford and is the 46th ranked amateur in the world.
Brown birdied 12, 15 and 17 to get to four under, parred the 18th and signed for a four-under 68 for the very early clubhouse lead. It likely won’t stand at the end of the day (he’s already been usurped by Cameron Young), but it’s a solid start for the kid.
Big names out early
Cameron Young, a 25-year-old PGA Tour rookie, has flashed all over leaderboards this summer.
He has five top 10s this season and has been the runner-up three times, but is still looking for his first win. He’s in a good spot this week, playing his first 14 holes in seven under and vaulting up the Open Championship leaderboard. Young turned in five-under 31 and added birdies on 11 and 12 to grab the lead.
In April and May, Young went three straight weeks finishing T3-T2-T3, but entered this week having missed his last two cuts.
Rory McIlroy is also surging. He’s already four under through seven holes. He made a long birdie putt on the 1st hole and rattled off three straight birdies on 5, 6 and 7 to jump to four under, tied for second and three behind Young.
Other notables: Cameron Smith is four under through 13, and Bryson DeChambeau is three under after 15. Justin Thomas is one under (6), while Collin Morikawa (8) is 1-over. Phil Mickelson finished his opening round at even-par. Follow all the scores here.
Paul Lawrie’s electric start (and finish)
Paul Lawrie, the 1999 Open winner, hit the first shot to kick off this 150th Open. He ended his opening round in a big way, too, driving the par-4 18th green and rolling in his six-footer for eagle.
Bryson DeChambeau is dialed in early. He’s taking DeChambeau-like lines and nearly drove the par-4 7th hole — clearing the Shell Bunker in the process — and making birdie. He made consecutive birdies on 5, 6 and 7 and got to three under on his round with a birdie on 12.
Big names to come
Tiger Woods headlines the afternoon wave, teeing off at 9:59 a.m. ET (2:59 p.m. local) alongside U.S. Open champ Matthew Fitzpatrick and Max Homa. They are the first of three straight marquee pairings. Jordan Spieth, Jon Rahm and Harold Varner III go off at 10:10 a.m. ET, and Patrick Cantlay, Sam Burns and Mito Pereira are at 10:21 a.m.
How to watch
Thursday’s TV action runs until 3 p.m. ET on USA. You can also stream the coverage, featured holes or featured groups via Peacock.