How many players make the cut at the Open?
British Open cut rules The top 60 players (plus ties) make the cut at the U.S. Open. Only the top 50 (plus ties) make the cut at the Masters. Sporting NewsBritish Open cut line 2021: Projected cut, rules, updates for Friday's leaderboard
Who is favored to win British Open?
2021 British Open odds to win: Jordan Spieth emerges as championship favorite after 65 in Round 1. Louis Oosthuizen is in the top spot on the leaderboard, but Jordan Spieth, who is one stroke off the lead after Thursday's first round, is the new favorite to win the 2021 Open Championship. CBSSports.com2021 British Open odds to win: Jordan Spieth emerges as championship favorite after 65 in Round 1
What is the cut for the British Open?
How is the cut line determined? The cut line at 36 holes is the top 70 players plus those tied at the end of that group. DraftKings Nation2021 British Open cut: What is the cut line, how is it determined, who will miss it
16 July, 2021 - 07:10am
But Spieth wasn't so sure that would be the case at Royal St. George's. Due to a hectic spring schedule, he elected to take some time off after the U.S. Open, a decision he lamented as The Open approached at a course he had never played.
That appeared to be of little concern Thursday as Spieth opened the tournament with a 5-under-par 65.
"That was kind of my one concern, I think, coming in here,'' Spieth said after making six birdies and a bogey to trail clubhouse leader Louis Oosthuizen by 1 stroke. "I felt pretty good about the work that I had done over the last, say, week and a half or so. But when you haven't played for a little while, you come into a difficult track, you can have a bit of rust early, and I was a little bit concerned about that.
"I think midway through the front nine today, kind of turning under par was just big to feel like, 'Hey, we're in the thick of things.' There's just a little extra nerves when you're not coming off the week before, just getting started. [I] hit some really good shots early in the round today, which I think was important."
After a bogey at the third hole, Spieth birdied four straight -- starting with the fifth -- and made the turn in 32. He added two more birdies on the final nine holes to shoot the seventh round of his career in major championships in the 60s -- bettered only by Tiger Woods (10), Jack Nicklaus (nine), Tom Watson (nine) and Dustin Johnson (eight).
Of his past 13 rounds in the majors, Spieth has four 65s and nine rounds total in the 60s.
And for all the angst about Spieth's game in recent years, he still managed to have some success in the major championships.
Prior to winning the Valero Texas Open the week before the Masters this year, Spieth had not won since the 2017 Open at Royal Birkdale. He finished third at the 2018 Masters (after a final-hole bogey when he needed a birdie to tie), was the 54-hole co-leader at Carnoustie in 2018 (he made no birdies in the final round and tied for ninth) and tied for third at the 2019 PGA.
"I look back and I had a chance to win at least one of the majors each year when I felt like I had no idea where the ball was going, which could be bad and good,'' Spieth said. "Golf is a game played between the ears, right? When it's not going great, you can certainly lose quite a bit of confidence in it, and that was the first time I've had to really try and build confidence back up. And it takes time.
"It's a combination of obviously getting things figured out mechanically but also then putting it to the test and mentally stepping up with enough oomph to go ahead and pull off some shots, and that's how you build the confidence, [by] using that improvement, I think, physically on the course under pressure.
"By no means do I feel like I'm where I want to be mechanically yet, but this year has been a really, really good progression for me, and that's all I'm trying to do is just get a little bit better each day."
It was a solid day for Spieth. He hit nine of 14 fairways and 14 of 18 greens in regulation and needed just 27 putts.
That's pretty good for a guy who had so many instances of hitting the ball all over the place during his prolonged time away from the winner's circle.
But since missing the cut at the Farmers Insurance Open this past January, Spieth, 27, has turned his game around. Starting with a tie for fourth at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, Spieth had seven top-15 finishes in eight tournaments, highlighted by his win at the Valero and a tie for third at the Masters. After a tie for 30th at the PGA Championship, he finished second at the Charles Schwab Challenge.
"I like where I'm at,'' Spieth said. "Again, I feel like I was progressing nicely. Took a couple steps back really on the weekend at Colonial [Charles Schwab] through the U.S. Open, and I know what it was now and tried to put in some good work over the last few weeks to ... forward it from where I was already progressing."
16 July, 2021 - 07:10am
Jordan Spieth produced an outstanding round of golf to take the clubhouse lead in the first round of the British Open.
The American showed his class in carding a 65 to shoot to the top of the leaderboard before Louis Oosthuizen then leapfrogged him at six under par after 17.
Both men will fancy their chances over the coming days. Spieth won the Open back in 2017 while Oosthuizen's triumph in 2010 was outstanding.
Jordan Spieth showed his class to take the club house lead after his round of 65
Louis Oosthuizen won the 2010 British Open and stormed to a first round lead
Bryson DeChambeau struggled to overpower the course during the first round of the British Open with Mackenzie Hughes taking a shock lead.
The Canadian stormed to five under par while DeChambeau was level after 13 holes on Thursday afternoon.
Briann Harmon was the early leader but was soon joined by England's Andy Sullivan and Justin Harding of South Africa who both finished at three under par.
Bryson DeChambeau struggled to overpower the course as many believed he would
Mackenzie Hughes took the lead and the Canadian played some superb golf on Thursday
Hughes handled the mixture of weather well as sunshine gave way to breezy conditions
Four-time major winner Brooks Koepka also found some form after a sketchy start which saw him find plenty of the rough at the Sandwich links as he got to two under through 14 holes.
Fellow American and world number one Dustin Johnson was also two under after six.
Sullivan, who only got into the field last week as a reserve after a number of withdrawals, was more than happy to take advantage of the lucky break.
'I wasn't planning to be in a couple of weeks ago. I didn't know I was even close to being a reserve. When I got that news I was buzzing,' said the Englishman.
'On Friday at the Scottish (Open) my manager said I was in the Open because people had pulled out.
England's Andy Sullivan carded a round of 67 to position himself nicely ahead of Friday
'The game is in the place I want it to be even though I missed the cut last week.'
The 149th Open Championship got underway at Royal St George's with spectators making a welcome return to the fairways.
Up to 32,000 fans per day will be admitted to the course in Sandwich, Kent and the Major started in glorious sunshine early on Thursday morning.
Covid-19 forced a postponement 12 months ago, creating even more of a sense of anticipation when Richard Bland was the first to tee off on the links course at 6.35am.
A packed grandstand at Royal St George's in Kent watch Richard Bland start the first round of the 149th Open Championship at 6.35am on Thursday morning
Bland plays the first shot of the Major, which didn't take place last year because of Covid-19
Up to 32,000 spectators will be at Sandwich each day with the Major designated a pilot event
Bryson DeChambeau on the course during the opening round at Royal St George's
American Jordan Spieth was another morning starter as The Open got underway in Kent
Bland, 48, who became the oldest first-time winner of a European Tour event with victory at the Betfred British Masters, his 478th event, saw his opening drive go slightly left in the breeze. He was ultimately disappointed to see his 14ft birdie putt grace the edge of the hole.
That left Andy Sullivan as the first to take advantage of favourable conditions by holing a 25ft birdie putt at the first.
Marcus Armitage, another maiden winner in June with his victory at the Porsche European Open, completed the all-English three-ball first out and settled for par.
Spectators watch on from the fairways as Austria's Bernd Wiesberger plays a shot
Daniel Berger of the United States plays from the rough on the fourth hole on Thursday
England's Ian Poulter was one of the early starters on the opening day of The Open
Andy Sullivan was one of the early starters to take advantage of favourable conditions
Shane Lowry's long wait to defend his 2019 Open title is due got underway just before 10am in a marquee group alongside golf's newest Major winner Jon Rahm and 2010 champion Louis Oosthuizen.
Half an hour before that, 2017 Open winner Jordan Spieth headed out alongside last year's US Open champion Bryson DeChambeau and South Africa's Branden Grace.
Big-hitting DeChambeau was the first player to hit an iron off the first tee but his ploy didn't pay off as he short-sided himself with his approach, left his chip on the top of a mound and made a bogey.
DeChambeau took a driver at the second but that tactic did not work either as he found the right rough.
Although he only had 75 yards to the pin, even with his power the American came up short of the green, but he managed to get up and down to save par.
Paul Casey, off alongside Ian Poulter at 7.52am, had a lucky break at the 547-yard seventh as his ball was fortunate not to roll back into a greenside bunker and, as a result, he was able to successfully two-putt for par.
Four-time Major winner Rory McIlroy, who won this event in 2014, goes out at 3.21pm with American Ryder Cup rival Patrick Reed and Australian Cameron Smith.
DeChambeau found himself in the knee-high grass during practice, hacking out huge clumps
The Ryder Cup captain has had a new lease of life on the playing front.
Another who's never happier than when he's out on the links.
Surely at least one of the strong English contingent will be in contention come Sunday.
It's never easy to defend but, then again, it's never easy to win in front of your home crowd.
It's about time the forgotten American returned to the limelight.
The gifted Italian with the brilliant short game looks like a superstar in the making.
Fans make a welcome return with The Open this week forming part of the Government's Events Research Programme, permitting a greater attendance than the 10,000 otherwise allowed at outdoor events.
Both the 156 players and spectators have to abide by strict Covid protocols despite the lifting of most restrictions in England being imminent.
The players have to be in bubbles of no more than four and must stay in approved hotels or accommodation. They're not allowed to visit bars, restaurants or even supermarkets during their stay at risk of disqualification.
All spectators need to show proof of double vaccination or a negative lateral flow test to gain access.
The Open and R&A chief executive Martin Slumbers said: 'The spectators are here as part of a research programme for the Government and the Government will be monitoring all that,' added Slumbers.
'They're actually trying to very responsibly understand with these big events how Covid does transmit outside, in 500, 600 acres of land and wind blowing and they're monitoring that.
'But I think it's probably inevitable that we will have some problems and we understand that, so does Government, so does Public Health [England], and we'll work through that.
'We mustn't forget we are staging a major event still in the middle of a global pandemic.'
The start of the Open has not been without controversy with stars queuing up to criticise the course at Royal St George's.
There have been grumbles about 'unfair' bumpy fairways, blind tee shots and 'diabolical' thick rough.
American Brooks Koepka, one of the favourites to win, was dismissive of the course.
'I've only played the front nine,' he said, with a bored expression. 'I don't know, it's not my favourite venue. There's quite a few blind shots and quite a few where you're hitting to nothing.
Brooks Koepka is the latest golfer to voice his displeasure at Royal St George's in Sandwich
The 149th Open will be played at the venue, which is not one of the favourites with star golfers
'I'm not too big a fan of that. It's not like St Andrews or Portrush last time. They are my two favourites.'
Greg Norman, the 1993 champion, said: 'It's not just the blind shots, it's the all-round quirkiness and the fact that all the nuances are so pronounced.
'It's not like the other venues where if you catch one of the humps in the middle of the fairway it will either throw the ball forward or back.
'At Sandwich the ball always seem to get propelled either left or right and it really is in the lap of the gods where it will end up after that.
England's Tommy Fleetwood got a taste of the thick fescue rough during practice here
Rory McIlroy is not a fan and previously said he would prefer to play at St Andrews
'Take the first hole. If you get a right to left wind and catch the camber in the middle of the fairway, you can end up in the thick rough. That's just the first.'
McIlroy was another who was not a fan. 'Can't we just skip St George's and go straight to St Andrews,' he quipped on a podcast last year, after the Open had been cancelled.
Yet he turned up last weekend and, after 27 holes, was pleasantly surprised. 'Even before all the rain, the course was quite lush and green and we weren't seeing the bounces that we're accustomed to getting here,' he said.
'I walked away after the weekend thinking this is a much better golf course than I remember.'
There is also plenty of 'diabolical hay,' as Bryson DeChambeau calls it, to catch not only tee shots that are poorly struck but those that catch an unlucky bounce.
6:35am: Marcus Armitage (Eng), Richard Bland (Eng), Andy Sullivan (Eng)
6:46am: Justin Harding (SA), Chan Kim (US), Haotong Li (Chn)
6:57am: Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (Spa), Abel Gallegos (Arg)*, Michael Lorenzo-Vera (Fra)
7:08am: Richard Mansell (Eng), Alexander Noren (Swe), JC Ritchie (SA)
7:19am: Dean Burmester (SA), Laird Shepherd (Eng)*, Danny Willett (Eng)
7:30am: Christiaan Bezuidenhout (SA), Sam Horsfield (Eng), Min-Woo Lee (Aus)
7:41am: Viktor Hovland (Nor), Ryan Palmer (US), Thomas Detry (Bel)
7:52am: Abraham Ancer (Mex), Paul Casey (Eng), Ian Poulter (Eng)
8:03am: Garrick Higgo (SA), Brooks Koepka (US), Jason Kokrak (US)
8:14am: Daniel Berger (US), Joel Dahmen (US), Joaquin Niemann (Chi)
8:25am: Darren Clarke (NI), Joe Long (Eng)*, Bernd Wiesberger (Aut)
8:36am: Marcus Kinhult (Swe), Chris Kirk (US), Jack Senior (Eng)
8:47am: Talor Gooch (US), Chengtsung Pan (Tai), Jonathan Thomson (Eng)
9:03am: Ernie Els (SA), Cole Hammer (US)*, Gary Woodland (US)
9:14am: Sam Burns (US), Jorge Campillo (Spa), Lucas Herbert (Aus)
9:25am: Bryson DeChambeau (US), Branden Grace (SA), Jordan Spieth (US)
9:36am: Brian Harman (US), Mackenzie Hughes (Can), Dylan Frittelli (SA)
9:47am: Guido Migliozzi (Ita), Victor Perez (Fra), Kevin Streelman (US)
9:58am: Shane Lowry (Ire), Louis Oosthuizen (SA), Jon Rahm (Spa)
10:09am: Stewart Cink (US), Martin Kaymer (Ger), Lee Westwood (Eng)
10:20am: Dustin Johnson (US), Justin Rose (Eng), Will Zalatoris (US)
10:31am: Sergio Garcia (Spa), Yuxin Lin (Chn)*, Scottie Scheffler (US)
10:42am: Harris English (US), Chez Reavie (US), Erik van Rooyen (SA)
10:53am: Byeong-Hun An (Kor), Lucas Glover (US), Brandt Snedeker (US)
11:04am: Takumi Kanaya (Jpn), Marcel Schneider (Ger), Cameron Tringale (US)
11:15am: Lanto Griffin (US), Rikuya Hoshino (Jpn), Connor Worsdall (Eng)
11:36am: Daniel Croft (Eng), Aaron Rai (Eng), Paul Waring (Eng)
11:47am: Christoffer Bring (Den)*, Jazz Janewattananond (Tha), Daniel van Tonder (SA)
11:58am: Matthias Schmid (Ger)*, Brendan Steele (US), Harold Varner III (US)
12:09pm: Jaco Ahlers (SA), Troy Merritt (US), Adam Long (US)
12:20pm: Jason Day (Aus), Joost Luiten (Ned), Johannes Veerman (US)
12:31pm: John Catlin (US), Romain Langasque (Fra), Aaron Pike (Aus)
12:42pm: Sam Forgan (Eng), Padraig Harrington (Ire), Brad Kennedy (Aus)
12:53pm: Tony Finau (US), Adam Hadwin (Can), Billy Horschel (US)
1:04pm: Patrick Cantlay (US), Matthew Fitzpatrick (Eng), Ryan Fox (NZ)
1:15pm: Marc Leishman (Aus), Francesco Molinari (Ita), Matt Wallace (Eng)
1:26pm: Corey Conners (Can), Collin Morikawa (US), Sebastian Munoz (Col)
1:37pm: Sam Bairstow (Eng)*, Keith Mitchell (US), Jason Scrivener (Aus)
1:48pm: Emiliano Grillo (Arg), Benjamin Hebert (Fra), Charley Hoffman (US)
2:04pm: Keegan Bradley (US), Rafael Cabrera (Spa), Richard T Lee (Can)
2:15pm: Carlos Ortiz (Mex), Matthias Schwab (Aut), Brendon Todd (US)
2:26pm: Russell Henley (US), Shaun Norris (SA), Webb Simpson (US)
2:37pm: Daniel Hillier (NZ), Matt Jones (Aus), Marcel Siem (Ger)
2:48pm: Tyrrell Hatton (Eng), Kevin Kisner (US), Phil Mickelson (US)
2:59pm: Rickie Fowler (US), Robert MacIntyre (Sco), Xander Schauffele (US)
3:10pm: Tommy Fleetwood (Eng), Adam Scott (Aus), Justin Thomas (US)
3:21pm: Rory McIlroy (NI), Patrick Reed (US), Cameron Smith (Aus)
3:32pm: Max Homa (US), Matt Kuchar (US), Henrik Stenson (Swe)
3:43pm: Ben Hutchinson (Eng), Ryosuke Kinoshita (Jpn), Antoine Rozner (Fra)
3:54pm: Kurt Kitayama (US), Deyen Lawson (Aus), Poom Saksansin (Tha)
4:05pm: Ricardo Celia (Col), Yuki Inamori (Jpn), Jimmy Walker (US)
4:16pm: Rikard Karlberg (Swe), Ryutaro Nagano (Jpn), Nicholas Poppleton (Eng)
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Part of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday & Metro Media Group
15 July, 2021 - 07:21am
Paul Casey insisted he feels more excited than nervous in major championships as he made a "rare" bogey-free start to The 149th Open at Royal St George's.
Casey admitted nerves are still an issue on the first tee at the Ryder Cup, but he had no early problems on the Kent links as he birdied the first and third before carding 15 consecutive pars to return a two-under 68.
That left him a shot behind early clubhouse leaders and fellow Englishmen, Danny Willett, Andy Sullivan and Jack Senior after a morning wave playing in what Casey described as "perfect golfing conditions".
"Obviously it was a clean round, which is very rare for me at an Open Championship," said Casey, who is still chasing his maiden major title in his 70th attempt. "Started off great with a birdie on the first and another on the third.
"My nerves are still there, but not a lot any more having played as many majors as I have. Now it's more excitement. There was a time when I was extremely nervous teeing it up, to the point where it affected my performance, and now, honestly, I couldn't be more excited to play.
"I feel the desire is still there as I haven't won one, and I desperately want to, but I don't feel like that's adding pressure. I just feel excitement every time. It's like an opportunity, and I think more so what's been interesting the last couple of years with this whole pandemic and having fans away, the fans being back, I love it.
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"So standing on this first tee, even today, we had a chuckle. Ian Poulter wanted to tee off. Abe (Abraham Ancer) was second but Poulter was on the tee about to put the tee in the ground and we just had a laugh.
"It's not like it used to be. The nerves are not a thing, the only time I feel like I get really nervous now is the first tee of the Ryder Cup."
Sullivan defied an early alarm call to head out in the first group of the Championship at 6:35am and carded six birdies and three bogeys in his 67, and he was happy to "drag myself out of bed" to enjoy the honour of being in the opening threeball, as he was at Carnoustie in 2018.
"It's always a privilege, I think, to be in the first group of the day," said Sullivan. "I did it at Carnoustie with Sandy Lyle, and that was amazing as it was obviously Sandy's last Open. It was pretty special.
"Today, as I was saying to the boys, it's probably the one event of the year where you actually don't mind getting up early. For other events you sort of drag yourself out of bed and look like the Kellogg's man. Today actually wasn't too bad. You've always got a buzz to come and play The Open."
Former Masters champion Willett arrived in Sandwich having posted only one top-10 finish in 14 starts this year, and he looked set to extend that record when he slipped from two under to one over in the space of six holes around the turn.
But birdies at 12, 14, 15 and the last propelled him back up the leaderboard as he matched Sullivan's 67, while Senior put himself on track to make the cut at The Open for the first time in his fourth appearance, keeping a bogey off his card in his three-under start.
And Willett echoed the comments of Casey, welcoming the return of big crowds with up to 32,000 spectators per day expected to come through the gates.
"British fans are the best in the world," said Willett. "The Open is a very special venue, a very special tournament for everyone. To be able to be clapped on to every tee, every green, really guys who know, spectators, fans who know golf, makes a big difference in this game.
"They have been out there in their thousands all week, and it's been fantastic to have them back."