Spieth hopes he won't rue missed opportunities
Defending champion Jordan Spieth hopes he won’t look back and regret his first round at The Open.
In benign conditions, watery sunshine with barely a puff of window, there was an opportunity to post a really low score on these feared Carnoustie links.
Last year’s Champion Golfer at Royal Birkdale duly started well, with two birdies in the opening four holes and was well poised coming to the the scary stretch that will scar many a card in the days ahead.
He duly carded a double bogey at the 15th and bogeys at the 16th and 18th to finish on a one over par 72 - his strong position obliterated in an instant.
“It felt like a missed opportunity,” admitted Spieth. “I felt like I was really going well.
“I had a nice par save after driving it in the bunker at six but other than that, it was very stress-free.
“I was putting the ball where I needed to, having maybe no more than fewer feet for par on every hole. It was just a clean round of golf.
“I hit my driver really well and hit my short irons and putted pretty well but those long irons just didn't quite hold up, and it really hurt me. However, I know what I need to work on.
“My swing just didn't quite hold up to the end of my round and my decision making cost me too.”
“I'm certainly in a recoverable situation,” he added.
“I imagine this is as easy as the course will play. I don't see the winning score being any better than it was in 2007, with tomorrow's forecasted tough conditions and Sunday's forecasted heavy winds. I think wherever it is Saturday night, it comes back on Sunday too.
“It’s not a bad place to be. I need a solid round tomorrow to stay in the top 25. The top 20 will be the goal to feel like I can do something on the weekend." Joining Spieth at one over were England’s Justin Rose, the Olympic champion and former US Open winner.
Rickie Fowler was two shots better after a one under par 70 - and it was clear he loved every second of the experiences, which underlined his very obvious passion and interest in links golf.
“You can't win on the first day but I did a good job of getting off to a solid start,” he said.
“I love playing links golf and it's definitely my favourite style of golf.
“It's fun seeing a place as burnt out and fast as this, tee to green. The harder you hit it, the further it can go offline and you definitely have to pick those wisely.”
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