It rained at times, sometimes a small cloud that passed, others a good shower that burst to the bone. The wind blew, also at his whim, sea breeze or whip. It was cold in some moments and warm in others. The golfers took and left the umbrella, put on their coats and took it off. An unpredictable time stirred the first day of the British Open and turned the players into meteorologists who still had to decipher the secrets of Royal Portrush to suck their thumbs to know where the wind was blowing. In that inclement scenario, the storm was Jon Rahm.
The Basque signed a brilliant start that shot the leadership alone for a good part of the day and ended up suffering more than the account to deliver despite all his best card in a British Open: 68 strokes, three under par, two leader, the American JB Holmes (66), to one of Shane Lowry (67), and tied with a large group of other 12 golfers in which Sergio Garcia, Brooks Koepka, Alex Noren, Webb Simpson, Tommy Fleetwood, Tyrrell Hatton and Tony Finau, among others. A putt failed in 18 and an erratic game with the irons in the last holes blurred the work of Rahm, who brushed for the first time the leadership in a big at the end of a day. The castle fell apart at the end.
- 1. J.B. Holmes (USA), 66 hits, -5.
- 2. S. Lowry (Irl), -4.
- 3. Jon Rahm, Sergio García, A. Noren (Sue) W. Simpson (USA), B. Koepka (USA), D. Frittelli (South), R. Mcintyre (Esc), K. Aphibarnrat (Tai), R. Fox (Aus), T. Hatton (Eng), T Fleetwood (Eng), L. Westwood (Eng), T. Finau (USA), -3.
- 72 Adrian Otaegui, Rafa Cabrera, +2
- 113 Adri Arnaus, +4
- 128 Jorge Campillo, +5
- 144. Tiger Woods, +7.
- 150. Rory McIlroy, +8.
- 152 Miguel Ángel Jiménez, +11.
"I leave with a bittersweet taste," Rahm analyzed, "but if they tell me I was going to do -3, I sign it, the first day you can not win a big one, but you can lose it, I played very well. from the tee, I will have options this week. Any results under par was good with this time. I do not know how many times I have removed my vest, I put it on, I took the umbrella, I left it … It was entertaining, I laughed, and I think that has helped me to play better ".
His first nine holes were a master class on how to play golf in a links. Always solid, almost every hole was made an option of birdie to finish off with the putt. He saved a couple of little scares (to the bunker in hole two and rough in the five) and hammered with the short game in a progression unattainable for anyone: -2 after the first four holes, -4 after the eighth with a magical street hit to green with recoil, -5 at the end of the first round. Those 31 blows, his best long performance in an Open, he was promoted to the lead alone and confirmed his love story with these lands (the public cheered him as one of their own). The Irish Rahm.
With that booty, and the rain giving a truce, in the second nine holes it was about staying safe. Cold head for a hot blooded player. Just that maturity that Rahm has reached after the odd tantrum. Today he is a great golfer, with all the ingredients to be a great one. At the first ruling that penalized him on the day, a short blow to green in the 11th that led to a bogeyreplied the Basque with a birdie in the next hole, last par five. In the 14 it recovered from a lost street and in the 15 it seemed to have the situation under control after a second short blow, but it failed a putt of a meter and went down a step. Another problem saved from the bunker in the 17th with a great touch of the wrist seemed to end the mismatches, but a new blow badly given from the street and that putt diverted in 18 they made him leave halfway. "In those last four holes I lacked a little decision, I knew what blow I wanted to give, but without really being convinced and in the routine, it is easy to correct and I will be more determined," admitted Barrika.
Side by side with Rahm, the squad of the hardy. Sergio García recovered in Portrush the face color he had lost in the big ones (only in court exceeded in the last eight). El Niño showed his good side and despite two putts failed at the start (two meters in the 2, half a meter in the 5), remained calm, hit at 7 and 8 and caught the dose of confidence that needed a fragile player recently. Two birdies more in the second round and a great bunker escape in the 18th to end with par kept him in the heights (-3). "Happy because the field was not easy. I have taken many streets, I have given good to the irons and given good putts", Analyzed the Castellón after his litigation with the wind:" You do not know where it comes from ".
That air bewilderment claimed illustrious victims at Royal Portrush. Tiger Woods (+7) and Rory McIlroy (+8), two roosters, fell with everything. Very much they will have to row this Friday to save themselves from burning.
Tiger looked like a shadow of what he drew at the Masters. Cabizbajo, defeated, was a flan with the short game and each failure seemed to sink more, as accepting his fate. Your first (and only) birdie of the day, in the 15th, he celebrated it with open arms, like a title. His +7 card is his worst record in the opening round of an Open. The season in the big ones can end prematurely with a bad taste in the mouth after Augusta's high. And with the feeling, moreover, that outside of that garden it will cost a world to fatten the list of majors.
Another fallen giant, McIlroy. The Northern Irish took a hole in passing from favorite to defenestrado. His tee shot in the 1 flew out of bounds and from there the nightmare worsened with one bad shot after another. Quadruple bogey to start … and triple bogey to finish, no matter how hard I tried to row in between. His movie was written. The sinking of the Titanic. "He would have hit me with a punch," he said later, confessing that he was very nervous at the start, that he had a fatal blow and could not recover.
The rest of Spaniards filled the bag of blows: +2 Adrian Otaegui and Rafa Cabrera, who does not know if he will continue in the Open because he is about to be a father and his partner is in Sweden; +4 the debutant Adri Arnaus; +5 Jorge Campillo; and +11 Miguel Ángel Jiménez, sour snack at his 700 tournament in the European circuit.
Classification of the British Open.
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