147th Open Championship – First Round Carnoustie Notebook

Carnoustie, Scotland …

  • Marks the fourth time Kisner Kisner has held the first-round lead/co-lead on PGA TOUR and second time in a major championship
  • Kisner’s 22 putts tied his career-low number of putts on TOUR (R3/2017 Sony Open in Hawaii)
  • Last nine Open champions began with a round in the 60s (74/2008/Padraig Harrington)
  • Top seven players on the leaderboard represent either USA or South Africa, all seeking their first major title
  • Ryan Moore (T42/2007), Pat Perez (T20/2007), Zach Johnson (T20/2007) and Rory McIlroy (T42/2007) are players in top-10 on the leaderboard who also played The Open at Carnoustie in 2007
  • With his highest opening round in six appearances at The Open, defending champion Jordan Spieth sits T50 at 1-over 72
  • Trio of Jon Rahm (69), Rickie Fowler (70) and Chris Wood (70) are the only group of 52 groups with under-par rounds
    First-Round Lead Notes
    26           First-round leaders/co-leaders at The Open to win since 1892 (most recent, Jordan Spieth/2017)
    7             First-round leaders/co-leaders to win on PGA TOUR in 2017-18 (most recent: Webb Simpson/THE PLAYERS Championship)
    63           Lowest first round at The Open (Rory McIlroy/2010, Phil Mickelson/2016)
    65           Lowest first round by an Open Champion (Louis Oosthuizen/2010, Jordan Spieth/2017)
    Kevin Kisner (-5/1st)
    Age: 34 (February 15, 1984)
    Joined TOUR: 2011
    Entering this week
    #52        FedExCup
    #33        OWGR
    2             PGA TOUR wins
    178        PGA TOUR starts
    18           PGA TOUR starts in 2017-18
    3             Top-10s in 2017-18
    3             Starts at The Open
    1/3         Wins when holding 18-hole lead/co-lead
  • Five-under 66 marks second sub-70 round, and second consecutive, in 11 rounds at The Open (69/R4/2017)
  • Hit nine of 18 greens in regulation and required 22 putts, including 12 one-putts
  • 22 putts tied career-low on TOUR (R3/2017 Sony Open in Hawaii)
  • 66 is one stroke shy of his lowest career round in a major championship (65/R3/2016 PGA Championship)
  • Lone top-10 finish in 14 prior major championship starts is T7 at 2017 PGA Championship, where he shared the 18- and 36-hole lead and held the solo 54-hole lead
  • Fourth time he’s held the first-round lead/co-lead on PGA TOUR and second time in a major championship (2015 The RSM Classic/Won, 2016 Sony Open in Hawaii/T5, 2017 PGA Championship/T7)
    Erik Van Rooyen (-4/T2)
  • Former University of Minnesota golfer reached 5-under with fifth birdie of the round at the par-4 15th hole before dropping a shot at the final hole
  • First Open appearance is also the 28-year-old South African’s first major championship and first PGA TOUR appearance
  • Owns victories on Sunshine Tour (2017 Eye of Africa PGA Championship) and Challenge Tour (2017 Hainan Open)
  • Runner-up finish at 2017 Joburg Open (December) to earn a spot in The Open is one of four top-10 results on the European Tour this season (T2/Joburg Open, 10/Tshwane Open, T7/Trophee Hassan II, T4/Dubai Duty Free Irish Open)
    Tony Finau (-4/T2)
  • Mixed eight birdies with four bogeys for a 4-under 67, matching his lowest 18-hole score at The Open. Now owns at least one round of 67 in each of three Open Championship appearances (R1/2016/Royal Troon, R3/2017/Royal Birkdale)
  • Sat fourth after first-round 67 in his first Open appearance at Royal Troon in 2016, eventually finishing T18
  • Seeks third-consecutive top-10 finish in a major championship (T10/2018 Masters Tournament, 5th/U.S. Open)
    Zander Lombard (-4/T2)
  • 23-year-old South African reached 4-under at the turn before adding a bogey on 10 and a birdie at 14 to post 4-under 67
  • Earned a spot in this week’s field with T6 at 2018 Dubai Duty Free Irish Open, just the fourth time he’d advanced to the weekend in 20 European Tour starts this season
  • Finished T66 at The Open in 2016, his only prior start in the championship
  • At No. 444 in the Official World Golf Ranking, is the lowest ranked player of the top seven on the leaderboard (Kisner/33, Van Rooyen/144, Finau/31, Stone/110, Moore/81, Steele/56)
    Brandon Stone (-3/T5)
  • 25-year-old South African opened with 3-under 68 on the heels of last week’s final-round 10-under 60 to win the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open, his third European Tour title. Became just the second player in 26 years to shoot a final-round 60 to win on the European Tour
  • Making his third start at the Open (MC/2016, T70/2017)
  • Represented South Africa at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games
    Ryan Moore (-3/T5)
  • In his 40th major championship, 3-under 68 marks his best opening round (previous best, 69/three times)
  • Finished T42 at The Open in 2007 at Carnoustie. Is joined by Pat Perez (T20/2007), Zach Johnson (T20/2007) and Rory McIlroy (T42/2007) as only players in top-10 on the leaderboard who also played The Open at Carnoustie in 2007
    Brendan Steele (-3/T5)
  • After winning season-opening Safeway Open, seeks to become the seventh multiple winner on the PGA TOUR this season: Bubba Watson (3), Patton Kizzire, Justin Thomas, Jason Day, Justin Rose, Dustin Johnson.
    Sung Kang (-2/T8)
  • After finishing third at the 2018 Quicken Loans National to earn a spot in The Open this week, he’s attempting to join Kevin Na (A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier) and Michael Kim (John Deere Classic) as the third consecutive Korean-born winner on the PGA TOUR
    Zach Johnson (-2/T8)
  • 2015 Open Champion is in position to keep alive the longest active streak of consecutive cuts made (11) at The Open, dating to a T20 finish at Carnoustie in 2007. Behind Johnson on this list are Steve Stricker (10), Henrik Stenson (9), Dustin Johnson (8) and Adam Scott (8).
    Rory McIlroy (-2/T8)
  • Making his 10th start at The Open, with top-five results, including victory in 2014, in his last three appearances (T4/2017, T5/2016, Won/2014). Also posted a T3 in 2010
  • Shot 68-76-73-72 (+5) in the 2007 Open Championship at Carnoustie to win the silver medal as top amateur in his first Open Championship
  • Four top-five finishes at the Open since 2010 are the most of any player in that time
    Tiger Woods (E/T32)
  • Projected to jump into the top-20 of the Official World Golf Ranking with a win at The Open. Requires at least a two-way T8 finish to have a chance to reach the top 50 to gain a spot in the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational
  • T32 at 2018 Masters Tournament is the only cut he has made in last five major championship starts
  • Here’s a look at Woods’ position after first round in major championships since 2013:
    R1 Position          Tournament                       Finish
    T9                          2013 The Open                   T6
    T10                        2014 The Open                   69th
    T13                        2013 Masters                     T4
    T29                        2018 Masters                     T32
    T32                        2018 The Open                  TBD
    T41                        2015 Masters                     T17
    T46                        2013 U.S. Open                   T32
    T50                        2013 PGA                            T40
    T86                        2015 PGA                            MC
    T101                     2018 U.S. Open                   MC
    T109                     2014 PGA                            MC
    T139                     2015 The Open                   MC
    T152                     2015 U.S. Open                   MC
Miscellaneous Notes
With 600 FedExCup points at stake for the winner this week, seven players can mathematically move to No. 1 in the FedExCup standings, supplanting Dustin Johnson: Justin Thomas (27 points behind); Bubba Watson (159); Justin Rose (270); Jason Day (410); Bryson DeChambeau (435); Patrick Reed (522); and Phil Mickelson (545).
Sandy Lyle, the 1985 Open champion, had the honor of striking the first tee shot on Thursday. Lyle posted a 4-over 75 while making his 43rd appearance, the second-most behind Gary Player’s record 46 starts.
After experiencing a series of visa and travel issues, Venezuela’s Jhonattan Vegas made it to Glasgow Thursday morning without his golf clubs and arrived at Carnoustie via helicopter just a few hours before his 10:31 a.m. tee time. The 2017 Presidents Cup International Team member posted a 5-over 76 to sit T129.
Chez Reavie (-2/T8) was the only player in the last 15 groups to shoot under par.
Following an outward nine of 41, current U.S. Open champion Brooks Koepka shot an inward 31 for a 1-over 72 (T50).
Yuta Ikeda (-1/T18) is the best of 10 Japanese players in the field.
Former PGA Championship winner Keegan Bradley, the last man in the field when he replaced two-time major winner John Daly (WD/injury), posted 74 to sit T90.
With a triple-bogey 7 on the final hole, world No. 1 Dustin Johnson recorded a 5-over 76, his second-highest opening-round score at The Open (78/2009, in his first appearance).
Here’s a look where the current major champions sit after the first round:
Player                   Tournament                                      R1          Position
Jordan Spieth       2017 The Open                                  72           T50
Justin Thomas      2017 PGA Championship                  69           T8
Patrick Reed         2018 Masters Tournament              75           T110
Brooks Koepka     2018 U.S. Open                                  72           T50
Course Statistics
Toughest Hole                    Easiest Hole
R1: Par-3 16th (3.462)        Par-5 14th (4.545)
Stat Leaders in R1:
Longest Average Drive       Bryson DeChambeau (379 yards)
Fairways Hit                        Erik Van Rooyen (13 of 15)
Greens in Regulation          Patrick Cantlay (15 of 18)
Fewest Putts                       Kevin Kisner (22)
Most Birdies                       Tony Finau (8)
Scrambling                          Kevin Kisner/Bryson DeChambeau (8)

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