From a first-hole birdie to a solid back-nine showing, Tiger Woods’ first round at Royal Lytham & St. Annes proved he is in form and ready to contend for another British Open title.
On an unusually calm weather day, Adam Scott came within one hole of becoming the first player to shoot a 62 in a major championship. But after a bogey on the final hole of his sterling round, he had to settle for a 6-under-par 64 and a one-stroke lead over Paul Lawrie and Zach Johnson. Scott’s mark equaled the lowest British Open score on the course, tying Tom Lehman’s third-round score when he won the tournament in 1996. Woods finished three shots back with a 67.
“I’m very pleased with the start,” said Scott, who has never won a major title. “Its nice to take advantage of the calm conditions today. It was surprising but very pleasing to go out and play some solid golf. It’s what I haven’t done in the first rounds of the majors this year, and that was my goal here, starting the week, was to play today like it was Sunday and there was no tomorrow.”
Woods made birdie on the par-3 first and then proceeded to birdie three of the next six holes for a 4-under-par 30 on the front. His lone blemish on the day came on the par-4 15th when his drive landed in the heavy rough. His second shot found the rough again, and he escaped with a bogey.
“I played well today,” Woods said after his round. “I got off to a sweet start, and kept hitting it well.”