Spieth, Koepka & Kuchar share lead on day one at The Open

Rufina Vignone
Luglio 21, 2017

Spieth played near flawless golf Thursday, shooting a 5-under-65 to take the clubhouse lead at Royal Birkdale in England.

Casey went out in his second round at 8:25am with Schwartzel going out at 9:47am in the company of world number one Dustin Johnson and 2014 Open champion Rory McIlroy.

"But I couldn't have done much better (yesterday)". Everything was strong. I give it a nine across the board for everything - tee balls, ball-striking, short game and putting. So things are in check.

"It's just, I think, a little bit of being more physically fit that is helping me be more consistent in what we've always been trying to work on, which is just staying patient and getting around my body", Spieth said.

"Conditions were tough but they'd set the pins appropriately - it just wasn't a good scoring day for me", said Harrington.

Johnson, the No. 1 player who hasnt played the weekend at a major since the British Open previous year, managed only one birdie on a decent day for scoring and shot 71.

That saw the 27-year-old birdie three holes in a row from the 11th, bogey 16 and then eagle the par-five 17th in sensational fashion as he holed out from a bunker.

“I thought todays round was extremely important, as they all are, ” Spieth said, atop the leaderboard at a major for the first time since last years Masters. However, Kuchar could extend that sequence.

"Regardless of your age, if you're in this field you have a dream to win the title".

"I just got off to such a poor start".

"I feel like I could have made one or two more putts and I hit a couple of errant shots on six and 14 and paid the price with the two bogeys there".

Plenty of other potential new champions are putting pressure on the leaders, with Casey carrying the flag for the hosts as England looks it for its first Open champion since 1992.

American Justin Thomas, sporting a black tie, matched Poulter's 67 to finish a shot ahead of world No. 2 Hideki Matsuyama of Japan, Sweden's Alex Noren and world No. 520 Stuart Manley of Wales.

Meanwhile, McIlroy, the 2014 Open victor at Hoylake, remains bullish about his prospects after recovering well from a horrendous start to his day. But round of the day arguably belonged to McIlroy, who was five over after six holes and heading for a fourth missed cut in five events, only to get a stern talking to from caddie JP Fitzgerald and storm home in 32 for an unlikely 71.

Fortunately, the world No 3 produced an exquisite chip shot before holing his putt for a par and kept the momentum down the stretch of the inward nine. Seemed like the later your tee time, the better draw you got. And understand that I can still make pars that way. I mis-hit it, it was a good club to get close to the hole.

Stenson has admitted his long game has not been at its best this season, but he was happy with the way he played in breezy conditions as he looks to retain the Claret Jug which he won at Troon previous year.

Spieth had not played competitively since winning the Travelers Championship on his last start three weeks ago by holing a bunker shot on the first hole of a play-off with Daniel Berger.

Playing alongside him, Johnson never got going but is in a stronger position than the likes of Sergio Garcia and Phil Mickelson, who are both three-over.

Stenson, looking to become the first man since Harrington nine years ago to retain the Claret Jug, was one under par.

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