Stats behind the holes
With a strong crosswind, the 1st hole proved one of the most difficult to play on the first day of The 146th Open.
From the moment Mark O’Meara’s drive sailed out of bounds with the first shot of the championship, it was obvious that players would need to have their mettle about them if they wished to get their campaigns off to a good start.
A sign of the difficulty was the fact that the first four three-balls were a combined 16 over par on the opening hole and that only 24.4 per cent of the whole field were able to find the fairway. The next toughest fairway to find was the 10th, where 42.3 per cent achieved the feat.
The 1st did give up an eagle - when Charley Hoffman holed his second shot from out of rough – but there were only 14 birdies and 93 pars. Most telling was that there were 48 bogeys or worse, such as Mark O’Meara’s quadruple bogey eight.
The hole was not ranked as the most difficult, however. That distinction went to the 6th – a 490-yard par four that is so testing that Dustin Johnson couldn’t find the appropriate words to describe it. There were only eight birdies in total and 75 bogeys or worse. It played to an average of 4.5, whereas the 1st (ranked third hardest) played to an average of 4.308. The second most difficult was the par four 16th, at 4.327.
The easiest hole was the 556-yard par five 17th. It was here that nine of the day’s 10 eagles were landed, one of them from Brooks Koepka, the joint first round leader. More than a quarter of the day’s birdies were recorded here – 69 in total – and there were only 13 bogeys or worse.
A par 70, the course played to an average of 71.923. With the forecast of winds gusting at up to 35mph this afternoon, the average scores are likely to be even higher. The top 70 and ties will make the cut, which after the first day was on one over par. With conditions deteriorating, it is likely the creep even higher.