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Continued: A firm, fast, frightening test: Zach Johnson lead British Open, with Tiger Woods 3 shots back

  • Article by: DOUG FERGUSON , AP Sports Writer
  • Last update: July 19, 2013 - 7:20 AM

At least he had some company.

Luke Donald, another former No. 1 player in the world, had a double bogey and a triple bogey two holes apart on the back nine. He shot 80. Nick Faldo celebrated his 56th birthday with a return to the links where he won two of his three claret jugs. He shot a 79, but still enjoyed the nerves and the emotions of seeing the gallery lining both sides of the fairway in his first Open in three years.

Lloyd Saltman got the 142nd Open off to a dubious start when it took him three tee shots to get his ball in play. He made a quadruple-bogey eight. Some eight hours later, Woods hooked his opening tee shot so far left, and into grass so deep, that he took a penalty shot for an unplayable lie. Woods hit into a bunker, but blasted out to 4 feet to escape with bogey. He made four birdies in his round, including a 25-foot bender behind the 13th hole. But it was the clutch putting that kept him going.

Dustin Johnson played the three par 5s in 4-under, yet what made him smile was a par. From left of the par-3 seventh green, he chipped between two bunkers and watched the ball ride the rounded face of one, roll precariously near the top of another and settled 4 feet away.

"That," he said, "was sweet."

Mickelson, coming off a win at the Scottish Open on a links-styled course at Castle Stuart, rolled in three big putts early in his round and kept it together with great lag putts for par when he ran into what he called "technical difficulties."

He rallied with a pair of late birdies, only for his last attempt from 15 feet above the hole on the 18th to slide some 6 feet by for a three-putt bogey. Even so, Lefty was pleased to be done as the greens turned brown.

"I got very lucky to play early today because as the day wore on and we got to the back nine, about a third of every green started to die and become brown," he said. "And the pins were very edgy, on the slopes. The guys that played early had a huge, huge break. Because even without any wind, it's beyond difficult."

It was tough all day.

Ninety-eight players in the 156-man field had at least a double bogey on their scorecards. Former U.S. Open champion Lucas Glover might have summed it up best when he took to Twitter after opening with an 80.

"Muirfield 1, Me 0."

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