Follow all of the action live from Round One at Royal St George’s as the Open kicks off.
After being postponed for a year, Shane Lowry will belatedly defend the Claret Jug after his stunning victory at Royal Portrush, when he challenged a stacked field and torrential rain to close a popular and moving victory on the return from the Open in North Ireland.
Lowry will face stiff competition from a group of competitors stacked up at Sandwich, however, with Jon Rahm in exceptional form after breaking his major duck at the US Open last month. The Spaniard played impressively at the Scottish Open last week and has proven himself on the links courses, having won the Irish Open twice. Elsewhere, Justin Thomas and Xander Scheatele both hope to fight, while Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau will put their hostility aside in the hopes of succeeding. At home, Lee Westwood, Paul Casey, Tommy Fleetwood and Tyrrell Hatton can all consider themselves among the challengers while, of course, Rory McIlroy remains in pursuit of his second Open championship. Follow all the actions of the first round below:
OPEN 2021: MOLINARI ARRIVES WITH A 68
Don’t count Francesco Molinari! The Italian has struggled for form in recent months, but a dramatic approach in the 18th leaves him with the easiest of tap-in birdies. It is a first lap of 68 which leaves him well placed four strokes behind.
Tom kershawJuly 15, 2021 6:05 PM
OPEN 2021: MORIKAWA PASSAGE TO -3
Collin Morikawa’s accuracy off the tee and in the fairways suits St George’s challenge perfectly and he is keeping his promise now. The former PGA champion birdied the 16th par-3 to go -3. He plays alongside Corey Conners, who is also having a good time, and is two under par. On the 10th tee, McIlroy’s drive spilled into the left rough as he looked to challenge his last nine.
Tom kershawJuly 15, 2021 5:52 PM
OPEN 2021: MCILROY AGAINST
Rory McIlroy rallies just as another disastrous first round threatened to end his challenge before it even began. The Northern Irishman birdie in the 9th to return to +1. There is still a lot of work to be done on the last nine. But.
Tom kershawJuly 15, 2021 5:35 PM
OPEN 2021: MICKELSON MISERY
Phil Mickelson launched into an enthusiastic standing ovation, but since then there have been deep sighs. The PGA champion does the round in 40 and is five above par. Things are quickly getting worse for Rory McIlroy as well, who missed his last three straight holes and is now +3.
Tom kershawJuly 15, 2021 5:22 PM
OPEN 2021: FINAU PASSAGE TO -2
Tony Finau is slowly progressing in the standings and goes to -2, just like Molinari. Meanwhile, McIlroy fell back to +1.
Tom kershawJuly 15, 2021 5:09 PM
OPEN 2021: OOSTHUIZEN THROUGH CADDY
“Yeah, I think number one, on this golf course it hits the fairway,” said the tournament leader after posting a first round of 64. “There’s not much you can do from the rough here. or fairway bunkers. As this week approaches it is essential to drive the ball well. If you’re not comfortable with a driver around this golf course, don’t be afraid to lie down further, as long as you can enter the fairway.
“Colin [Byrne] was great on the bag. He has so much experience and helps me focus on what I want to do and take the picture, the picture that I see. I think here in a windy condition like this you have to be – you have to go on with what you’re feeling all the time. It’s hard for the caddy to see what you think you want to do, so it’s great that he gives me a lot of confidence trying to play the shot I want to play. “
Tom kershawJuly 15, 2021 4:31 PM
THE OPEN 2021: MCILROY -1 TO 3
Rory McIlroy hit the first two fairways and punched the third to stay at -1. If its driver does not become erratic, it is as likely as anyone to lift the Claret Jug.
None of the late starters are mounting a charge to compete with Oosthuizen so far, although Morikawa has a nice round of -2 to 10 holes.
Francesco Molinari needs a special performance this week to hope for a Ryder Cup pick and the 2018 champion is -1-11.
Tom kershawJuly 15, 2021 4:15 PM
OPEN 2021: VAN TONDER MAKES A GOOD START
Daniel van Tonder is only playing his second major championship and his first Open, but the South African went to Royal St George’s with aplomb. After missing his first hole, four birdies brought the world No.87 into the crowded field to -3.
Meanwhile, Rory McIlroy got off to a great start with a birdie at the opening hole. His playing partners, Patrick Reed and Cameron Smith, are both tied. Justin Thomas, another late starter, is also level.
Tom kershawJuly 15, 2021 3:59 PM
THE OPEN 2021: SMITH FIGHTS THE TEE
It was a very erratic start for Cameron Smith, who skewed his first two tee shots deep into the rough. He managed to save par on the first, but will face an uphill battle to make it on the second.
Elsewhere, Dustin Johnson is back at the clubhouse after posting a very respectable 68 that leaves him very much in contention. He is joined on this point by Paul Casey and Sergio Garcia.
Tom kershawJuly 15, 2021 3:43 PM
OPEN 2021: MCILROY ON THE MOVE IN A STRONG GROUP
Rory McIlroy’s Open Championship is underway, although he will have to contend with a somewhat spicy group. His playing partners Patrick Reed and Cameron Smith clashed in the Presidents Cup after the Aussie said he had “no sympathy for those who cheat” – an affront Reed came with no surprise not well supported.