Keep those cards
Jordan Spieth: Four days after winning the John Deere Classic, the 19-year-old from Texas shot a 2-under-par 69 — one of only 13 rounds in the 60s on Thursday. Perhaps even more impressive was that Spieth had only one bogey, dropping a shot on the par-3 fourth hole. He birdied two of the par-5s and added another birdie on the short par-4 third hole.
Shiv Kapur: The 210th-ranked player in the world shot a 3-under 68. Kapur, from India, birdied six of the first seven holes. His only victory of note came in 2005 in the season-ending Volvo Masters of Asia in Bangkok. That helped him earn his card on the European Tour, but between 2005 and 2012 he missed 89 cuts in 188 events.
Toss those cards
Rory McIlroy: A bogey-bogey finish gave him a 79, his highest score at the Open since an 80 in the vicious wind of St. Andrews in 2010. The unraveling began with bogeys on Nos. 10 and 11 and a double bogey on the 12th. There was another double bogey on No. 15 as he badly misjudged a long putt that went into a bunker instead of the hole.
Luke Donald: Had a double bogey and a triple bogey two holes apart on the back nine and shot 80.
On the course with ...
Lloyd Saltman: Got the tournament off to a dubious start when it took him three tee shots to get his ball in play. His sliced his first shot so badly that he cleared a 30-foot fence guarding the tented village, which is marked out-of-bounds. His next shot clanged off the boards of the fence and was never found, presumed to be OB. His third tee shot was in the right rough, and he scrambled for a quadruple-bogey 8.
British Open moment
Nick Faldo: Sir Nick, a two-time winner at Muirfield (1987, 1992)), had not played a competitive tournament in three years, and it showed with a 79 on his 56th birthday. His one highlight came on the first tee as he gazed out from under his visor at the spectators a few rows deep; at the golden rough swaying in the breeze; at the long view of the East Lothian countryside. “It was great, I tell you,” Faldo said. “I hope somebody got a happy snap of that from behind the tee. Seriously, that was the best view of the day.”
That Tiger Woods managed to break 70 in the afternoon was impressive enough. That he did it after nearly snap-hooking a 3-wood out of bounds on his opening tee shot and having to take an unplayable lie when the ball nestled in a deep clump of unruly grass was doubly so.
“It was tough,” Woods said. “The golf course progressively got more dried out and more difficult as we played. I’m very pleased to shoot anything even par or better.”
A day that began with a near catastrophe off the first tee ended with a 6-footer that found the center of the cup on the 18th green. Hardly surprising since Woods had 10 one-putts as he scrambled his way around the links course.
Two midround withdrawals
Louis Oosthuizen and Peter Hanson withdrew because of injuries midway through their first rounds.
Oosthuizen, the 2010 British Open champion, was 4 over through eight holes when he pulled out after teeing off on No. 9 because of a recurring neck injury. The South African withdrew from last month’s U.S. Open after the first round, citing a hip problem.
Hanson, a Swede, lasted just five holes before pulling out because of a back injury that had troubled him before the tournament. He was 2 over par.
Stat of the day
98: Players in the 156-man field who had at least one double bogey.
Quote of the day
“Sometimes I feel like I’m walking out there and I’m unconscious.” — Rory McIlroy
Tweet of the day
“Unfortunately the guys this afternoon will struggle with a few pin positions. 8th hole is a joke, 18th needs a windmill & clown face.” — Ian Poulter after a morning 72
Cutdown day. The first group was scheduled to tee off at 12:32 a.m. ESPN began its coverage at 3 a.m. Notable tee times: Tom Lehman, 1:16; Tiger Woods, 3:44; Phil Mickelson, 8:45; Zach Johnson, 9:07.