Fleetwood hits clubhouse lead at the Open

Zach Johnson is eyeing a second British Open title and a third major trophy. Will Oliver  EPA

Zach Johnson is eyeing a second British Open title and a third major trophy. Will Oliver EPA

He is a writer for Golf365.com and a number of print magazines.

On a British Open leader board with big names - Rory McIlroy, Zach Johnson, the considerably rising Tommy Fleetwood - the biggest name in the game had an uneven trip to even par and remained in the leader-board suburbs.

Teeing off alongside Hideki Matsuyama and Russell Knox at 10:21 a.m. ET, there was plenty of Tiger talk before he even got to the first hole as a few cameras caught a glimpse of tape on his neck - not a good sign for someone who's had four back surgeries.

It has, however, been different in the past. He had rounds of 75-76, and now heads to St. Andrews.

But Friday in the auld town hurt him badly.

"I felt like I was really going well", Spieth said. I enjoyed watching him play.

"I hit a lot of great putts coming down the stretch".

But, with a day left until play was set to start, it doesn't look as if Woods can use that as an excuse for his actions. It all went downhill for a year. I was just happy to be here. He goes into the weekend just three shots back.

Initially the resurrection was slow, but the momentum built.

Kisner is a newcomer to what amounts to an American fraternity house at golf's oldest championship the last three years. All the while he was beginning to prove himself on the world stage.

But Kisner took an impressive step in that direction Thursday, shooting a five-under-par 66 to take a one-stroke lead in the first round of the British Open. The cut line was 2 over at the time - it eventually moved to 3 over - and Sharma still faced the challenging four holes at the end. "I struggled tee to green in the first round but I spent some time on the range and just hit it a lot better", he said.

Rory Mc Ilroy has not won a major title since 2014. Gerry Penny  EPA
Rory Mc Ilroy has not won a major title since 2014. Gerry Penny EPA

McIlroy was competing as an amateur the last time Carnoustie held The Open in 2007 where he claimed the Silver Medal as the leading amateur. Rain was forecast and he needed an umbrella, something he rarely carries.

"We stole one", he joked. We got one given for free, actually, so we didn't steal it.

"It was nice that it slowed the golf course down", Woods told reporters at Carnoustie.

The Open Championship runs from July 19 to July 22.

"If you put things in perspective and you have other things in your life, I think that's where the balance comes from".

One of the house rules: victor pays for the flight home, though not everyone will be on the same plane this year with players headed in too many different directions.

"I've never been anywhere near before", said Fleetwood, who has a liking for Carnoustie having set a course record 63 here in October previous year.

It was at Portrush where he burst onto the scene as a 16-year-old when he destroyed the course record with a breathtaking 11-under-par 61. "A very strong round of golf". "Today wasn't quite as good, but I finally birdied [a] par-5". "I can't lie about it".

"I've never been anywhere near it before". There's no point talking about the end game. "It shows they care and appreciate what I've done over the years".

Three years ago he was a promising youngster who had lost his way.

"There's still a long way to go, depending on what happens [Saturday] going into Sunday", McIlroy said, probably for the hundredth time across his career. Now he is a husband, a father and a lock for a Ryder Cup debut.

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