O'Meara gets The 146th Open underway at Royal Birkdale
Mark O’Meara, the 1998 Champion golfer of the Year here at Royal Birkdale, got The 146th Open underway in wet and blustery links conditions on Thursday.
Given the honour of playing the opening shot of at 6.35 this morning, O’Meara was left rueing his luck after driving his ball out of bounds at the 1st hole.
The American had the misfortune to tee off just as driving rain and a strong crosswind arrived to test his mettle. As soon as the ball left his club, bending heavily from right to left, it was clear that he would need to play another one.
It was a cruel return to the scene of arguably the American’s greatest triumph. His second ball found a tough lie in a fairway bunker down the left and he eventually walked off the hole with a quadruple-bogey eight.
The conditions soon improved, although the 448-yard 1st hole took its toll among the early starters. The first four groups claimed just four pars between them, England’s Chris Wood being one of them, with the first 12 players a cumulative 16 over par.
Was it a sign of things to come? Only time would tell.