SHOT OF THE DAY
Stuart Manley, coming off six consecutive missed cuts, wasted little time wowing the gallery at Royal Birkdale on Thursday. The 38-year-old Welshman hit his approach at the 567-yard, par-5 17th hole into a dreaded greenside pot bunker. Manley calmly escaped the treacherous sand, burying his wedge into the cup for an eagle 3. He went on to birdie 18 and finished at 2-under 68.
HOLE OF THE DAY
The 499-yard, par-4 sixth
This brutal left-to-right dogleg demands pinpoint accuracy off the tee, and with wind a factor (25 mph gusts), especially early, it showed its teeth. Three bunkers taunt. It played as the most difficult hole in Round 1, yielding an average score of 4.5, with just eight birdies, 73 pars, 67 bogeys and eight scores of double bogey or more. Might be even more fun given Friday’s forecast with gusts up to 40 mph.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“I would have thought I would’ve been more nervous, but I was not pleased when I hit that shot. I don’t think anybody would be. My name is on my golf bag, I’ve won the Open Championship, I’m in the Hall of Fame. When you hit one straight right off the first tee out of bounds, it would be like standing on the first tee on the Ballybunion and hitting the graveyard. My day was toast after that first tee shot. But I still had to play.”
– Mark O’Meara, after dumping the first tee shot of the Open out of bounds, making a quadruple bogey 8 and finishing Round 1 dead last at 11-over 81.