Australia’s Peter Senior confessed to getting little sleep ahead of hitting the opening tee shot in this year’s Open Championship.
The 53 year-old Queenslander had the honour of hitting the first shot for the first time in 14 Open appearances in golf’s oldest Major and admitted it gave him a restless night.
“I wasn’t able to get any sleep at all,” said the reigning Emirates Australian Open champion who had his son, Mitchell, on his bag.
“I was up all night and while I went to bed at 3am I just found myself being unable to get to sleep.”
Senior was greeted on the first tee by Ivor Robson and after being introduced at 6.32 am to the crowd he hit a driver to the middle of the fairway but eventually walked off with a double bogey six.
The Australian teed up in the opening match alongside Scotland’s Lloyd Saltman and England’s Oliver Fisher and the Scot had an even more disastrous start to the Championship.
He began with a quadruple bogey eight after hitting two balls out-of-bounds right off the first tee. His first tee shot cleared a 20-foot high screen bordering the tented village while his second was heard to hit an object. However neither ball could be found.
Saltman played a fifth shot from the tee that landed right and just off the fairway from where he found the green front left and two-putted from 30 feet for his eight. He did well to recover with birdies on the 3rd and 4th but then slipped back to four over par with bogeys on the 7th and 8th.
David Rickman, Executive Director – Rules & Equipment Standards, explained the positioning of the internal out-of-bounds to the right of the first hole.
“The out-of-bounds in question was present in 2002 and while the tented village footprint is slight different this year, the out-of-bounds is fundamentally the same,” he said.
“Essentially we have two choices with an area like that. We would either play it as out-of-bounds or a TIO – temporary immovable obstruction.
“Our concern with the latter is that it gives free relief to any ball that goes in there and you look at the area the only difference between finding a ball in there or losing a ball in there, is the point of free relief.
“In any case you would be dropping on a flattened piece of grass.
“So we felt strategically on that first tee we did not like the notion of it being a TIO so from a rules point of view that’s why when we looked at it, and knowing what we did in 2002, we decided that not only was it consistent but it was right for it to be OB.”
The area is one of two internal out-of-bounds at this year’s Open Championship with the other being the practice ground.