World No.1 Jason Day made a stuttering start to the Open Championship at Royal Troon last night.
Day began with a 2-over par first round of 73 with four bogeys and two birdies, leaving himself seven shots from the lead held US PGA Tour star Patrick Reed.
The Australian was never himself on the course, battling a left miss that is the opposite to what he has been fighting in the US, where he threw away his chances at the Bridgestone Invitational in Ohio two weeks ago.
His day was typified by his bogey at the last, where he tugged his 2-iron tee shot into a pot bunker, needed to lay-up and then hit a poor short iron approach to the right edge of the green. Earlier at the Postage Stamp, the par-3 eighth, he pulled his wedge shot up on to the hill beside the tiny green and made bogey.
“It’s hard,” he said. “I mean, it’s hard to win and it’s hard to be on top of your game all the time, and when you don’t have your best stuff, you’ve got to somehow just get it done.
“Unfortunately I didn’t get it done the right way, what I was expecting, even when I did have my best stuff. I was thinking if I could get in the house at even par or better that would be a great score; unfortunately I didn’t give myself enough chances.”
It was with the irons that he battled most.
“I actually drove it pretty good today with my driver, but every time I hit an iron I missed left. That’s usually not the miss I’ve been having lately, so it kind of put me off guard,” he said.
“It was kind of hard to trust the swing from there. But it’s 2-over par on a pretty easy day out there. The next three days are going to be pretty difficult. Hopefully by the end, I’m not too far behind and I can inch my way back into it.”