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The first round of the 2023 Open Championship is complete and the leaderboard is already taking shape at Royal Liverpool. Three players currently occupy top spot after rounds of 66, while some of the biggest names in the game are already out of contention after disastrous rounds. Meanwhile, the two pre-tournament favourites – Rory McIlroy and Scottie Scheffler – both enjoyed solid starts.
This week marks the final chance of the year for players to get their hands on a major championship, and it isn’t going to be a straightforward task if day one and the looming weather forecast is anything to go by. Deep bunkers, heavy rough and blustery winds all played a part on day one and it’s only going to get more difficult over the weekend with rain showers expected.
The Open Championship 2023 Leaderboard
Tommy Fleetwood (ENG)
Christo Lamprecht (a) (RSA)
Emiliano Grillo (ARG)
Adrian Otaegui (ESP)
Antoine Rozner (FRA)
Brian Harman (USA)
Stewart Cink (USA)
Wyndham Clark (USA)
Alex Noren (SWE)
Max Homa (USA)
Michael Stewart (SCO)
Round one highlights
An amateur leads the Open
The biggest story from day one at the 2023 Open Championship is that amateur, Christo Lamprecht, has a share of the lead after 18 holes. Lamprecht was one of the first players to go out at Royal Liverpool on Thursday and the South African played like a seasoned professional around the links course in challenging conditions.
Lamprecht carded seven birdies across his opening 18 holes but gave two back on holes 11 and 16 which left him on -5. The highlight of his round was a chip-in for birdie on hole 14 which showed off just how talented the young South African is. As the c0-leader, he is the first amateur to lead a major since Tom Lewis led the Open Championship after the first round back in 2011.
What a shot. What a day for Christo Lamprecht. pic.twitter.com/RdWODgk8Dl
— The Open (@TheOpen) July 20, 2023
Fleetwood continues his fine form
Coming into the Open Championship, Tommy Fleetwood was well-fancied due to some promising recent form. Last month, he was a playoff victory away from winning his first PGA Tour tournament at the Canadian Open and he followed that up with a top-five finish at the US Open. Last week, he finished sixth at the Scottish Open and he has carried that form into the opening day around Royal Liverpool.
On day one, he caught fire on the back nine carding four birdies in six holes from 11-16 which catapulted him to the top of the leaderboard. His work with renowned golf coach, Butch Harmon, seems to be paying off with the Englishman now showing more aggression and confidence out on the course. If he can keep this level up, then a first major triumph could be on the way.
McIlroy’s miracle up-and-down
Rory McIlroy was the favourite coming into this week and although he didn’t exactly take the tournament by storm on Thursday, he will be quietly happy with a round of even par considering it could have been a lot worse. The Northern Irishman made a series of impressive putts on Thursday but no hole would have pleased him more than his par save on 18 to end the day.
After driving the fairway, McIlroy decided to take the par 5 green on in two but his approach shot found the green side bunker on the front left portion of the green. He was wedged right up against the face of the bunker and failed to get the ball out with his first attempt.
Now on his fourth shot, and with one of his legs bent outside of the bunker for balance, the world number three somehow dug it out and left it 12 feet from the hole. He subsequently made the putt which will give him huge confidence going into day two.
Rory McIlroy makes a big par save at the last from a tricky spot in the bunker! pic.twitter.com/czjwrW15yW
— Golf Monthly (@GolfMonthly) July 20, 2023
Justin Thomas has the round from hell
While his best mate, Jordan Spieth, enjoyed an opening effort of 69, Justin Thomas had one of the worst rounds he has ever played on the PGA Tour. The two-time major champion is always a threat when a major comes around but he is well and truly out of this one after an opening round of 82 has left him on +11.
Even a round of 63 tomorrow is unlikely to see him through to the weekend, and the 30-year-old will now need to go away and work on his game after a string of disappointing performances.
The Open Championship updated odds
- Tommy Fleetwood – 6/1
- Scottie Scheffler – 13/2
- Rory McIlroy – 10/1
- Brian Harman – 16/1
- Jordan Spieth – 16/1
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