By Michael Terrill @MichaelTerrill on July 17, 2014
The first day of the 2014 British Open is officially over. That means it’s time to reflect on the good and bad occurrences of Thursday’s round. Here’s a look at the five things we learned from Day 1 of the British Open.
Rory McIlroy shot an impressive 66 to lead the British Open by one stroke ahead of Matteo Manassero. Sitting six strokes under par is certainly a nice place to be, especially considering how well McIlroy has played since the beginning of April, not including the missed cut at The Irish Open. In fact, many have noted McIlroy has had the look of determination in his eye this week. Don’t be surprised if he emerges victorious on Sunday.
Speaking of determination, Tiger Woods is confident that he can win The Open Championship after his opening round. A 69 is nothing to brag about, but it shows that Woods definitely has his game back. More importantly, his back appears to have held up as he told the media that he feels great. If Woods wants to become relevant once again, he must show the world he’s still capable of winning a major.
Woods hit a course marshal in the face with his drive on No. 17. Thankfully, the man was fine due to the ball taking one bounce in the rough before striking him. Ernie Els also hit a spectator. Unfortunately, it was more serious than Woods’ predicament. Els hooked his tee shot on No. 1, which hit an elder man who required medical attention and was taken to a hospital.
Phil Mickelson has really struggled this season, as evidence of his missed cut at the Masters and THE PLAYERS Championship. Of the 11 cuts that he has made, he has yet to finish in the top 10. After shooting a dismal 74 in the first round, he will have his work cut out for him if he wants to put pressure on the leaders. At this point, making the cut should be his top priority.
Manassero has failed to live up to the hype after a fantastic showing as an amateur at the 2009 British Open when he finished 13th. Since then, he hasn’t made a splash in any big-named tournaments. After posting a score of 67 on Day 1, this weekend very well could be his coming out party. It would only seem fitting that the British Open is the first major he wins considering it’s where it all started for him.
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