Dustin Johnson and Jordan Spieth resumed their battle on the opening day of the 2015 Open Championship.
Opening day honours of the 2015 Open Championship go to Dustin Johnson after he carded a blemish-free 7-under 65 around The Old Course at St Andrews to lead the tournament by one stroke.
The big hitting American left his US Open troubles behind him and took advantage of the benign conditions early in the day. Johnson’s round included five birdies and an eagle at the long par-5 5th hole.
One could have been forgiven for thinking it was the fifth round of the US Open as Dustin Johnson and Jordan Spieth went shot for shot in the morning round paired in the same grouping. Johnson was regularly 50 yards further down the fairway than Spieth but the US Open champion is staring down his third major championship of the year and everything looked under control when he made his six birdie of the day at the 11th.
A late stumble saw Spieth drop a couple of shots and it could have been worse if not for a superb birdie putt on the last after hooking his drive far and wide onto the adjoining first fairway at The Old Course.
Australian hopes of hoisting the Claret Jug for the first time since Greg Norman in 1993 are still very much alive after a bunch of the 15 Aussies in the field kept themselves very much in the tournament.
The stand-out best was Jason Day who looks fit and healthy after shaking off his bout of vertigo that nearly ruined his US Open just a month ago. Day played a splendid, bogey-free round of golf in the calm morning conditions to be tied at 6-under par with five other players just a shot behind Johnson.
Matt Jones is the next best of the Aussies at 4-under the card but it was Geoff Ogilvy who would be rueing a huge opportunity to set up a good chance of securing his second major.
Ogilvy teed off as the winds were starting to pick up and looked in great touch, holing a birdie putt in excess of 100 feet on the fifth hole to get to 3-under. The 2006 US Open champion then had it at 6-under par after a birdie at the 12th hole before his round took a nasty turn.
As Ogilvy turned back into the wind, things got tougher and a bogey on the 13th was followed by a double-bogey on the par-5 14th hole. Ogilvy admitted later it was his one poor shot of the round but it was bad enough to find heavy rough that took him a couple of shots to escape. Ogilvy would eventually finish 1-under par – just six shots behind the leaders. Not out of the tournament by any means but it must be a bitter pill to swallow.
Adam Scott, Greg Chalmers, Steven Bowditch and Marc Leishman all posted healthy opening rounds in the tougher afternoon conditions finishing. Each player carded two bogeys heading back into the wind to finish 2-under par for the day.