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After a tough opening day, American Zach Johnson took a one-shot lead that noticed one of the vital world’s highest battles in the 142nd Open Championship.

Johnson, the 2007 Masters champion, shot a five-under sixty-six on a firm and fiery Midfield course to move Spain’s Rafael Cabrera-Bello and fifty six-12 months-previous Mark O’Meara, the 1998 Open champion.

Spain’s Miguel Angel Jimenez, India’s Shiv Kaptur, Americans Dustin Johnson, Brandt Seeker, and 1996 champion Tom Lehman ended another stroke adrift on three underneath.

Zach Johnson

Woods in the hunt after first-round 69

Tiger Woods recovered from a penalty drop following a negative pressure at the first to shoot a two-beneath 69 in prerequisites he described as “progressively tougher” as the course dried out.

The arena primary, chasing a first main title because 2008 ended alongside Phil Mickelson, remaining week’s Scottish Open winner, 2004 champion Todd Hamilton, Argentina’s two-time major winner Angel Cabrera, Italy’s Francesco Molinari, and 19-year-outdated US Tour rookie Jordan Spite.

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But on a shocking day for spectating, if now not low scoring, the bouncy, fast-working Scottish links claimed various extraordinary scalps.

Rory McElroy’s woes endured with an eight-over 79, which he blamed a collection of psychological blunders reasonably than method.

“infrequently, I think like I’m strolling round in the market a little bit unconscious,” said the arena number two, who has struggled all season. England’s Luke Donald, the man McElroy dueled with for the #1 spot for many ultimate seasons, ended on eighty.

“Phil Mickelson made his feedback on the state of the path from a position of potential as a result of, except for being one of the vital best possible players on the planet, he was in the market and shot a good ranking, so there used to be no mood concerned after posting a bad spherical.

“I feel they got the direction set-up right, but best simply. I think the greenkeepers will publicly say they will put the same amount of water on the path tonight; however, they will most definitely provide the vegetables an additional swoosh with a hosepipe.

“I don’t think Midfield was a patch on us Open last month, a place I thought one of the crucial veggies at Merion have been farcical to play on.” Of the sphere of 156, the simplest 26 ended at level par or higher.

Ian Pouter, who completed one over, and Mickelson branded the bone-dry veggies and one of the most pin positions a “funny story” and “unplayable.” The R& A defended the set-up but admitted it would evaluate its direction policies ahead of Friday’s 2d round. At the same time, O’Meara said in more than 25 Open Championships; he had seen prerequisites some distance worse.

Woods sympathized to some extent with the complaints and said: “I am more than happy to shoot the rest even par or higher.” Johnson led for a lot of the day after accomplishing six beneath at the twelfth. However, he was briefly passed through Kaptur, who raced to 6 beneath after seven regardless of the tricky afternoon stipulations before dropping again.

O’Meara also shared the lead at one stage however slumped from five underneath after 9 to two underneath at 15 sooner than an eagle on the long 17th. Masters champion Adam Scott, who blew a four-shot lead with four to play at Royal Latham last 12 months, ended level par, whereas defending champion Ernie Ells carded 74.

Northern Eire’s Darren Clarke, who excelled in the wind and rain to win at Royal St George’s in 2011, carded a one-over 72 alongside stablemate Lee Westwood, chasing his first main title in sixty-two attempts.

stupid mistakes’ for McElroy

England’s US Open winner Justin Rose took seventy-five and Spain’s Sergio Garcia and northern Eire’s Graeme McDowell.

“I could no longer moderately get my center of attention,” mentioned the 32-yr-previous Rose, who won his maiden major title at Merion the remaining month. “It’s very tough available in the market and performs methods along with your mind.”

England’s Oliver Fisher and Scotland’s Martin Laird led the British challenge at one-under with English amateur Jimmy Mullen and Wales’s Gareth Wright within the group at stage par. Paul Lawry remained from these shores to win the Open at Carnoustie in 1999, but the Scot was some other Midfield sufferer and collapsed to a ten-over 81.

After two years of semi-retirement, Sir Nick Faldo, who received two of his three Opens at Midfield, additionally shot 79 on his Open return.

The Englishman, who was once celebrating his 56th birthday, performed alongside sixty-three-yr.-previous 5-time champion Tom Watson and fellow US veteran Fred Couples, who took 75.