Today started off with rain falling at 6:31 local time at Royal Birkdale. A former champion at Royal Birkdale, Mark O’Meara, was first off in terrible conditions. When the day ended there were 3 players tied at the top of the leaderboard.
Before we get into the leaders we need to talk a little bit about the course set up. The greens were rolling at 9.6 on a stimpmeter. Normal green speeds on the PGA Tour are in the 12 range. They keep the greens slower for The Open because the wind could cause a resting ball to move on faster greens.
Now for the days leaders. Jordan Spieth, Matt Kuchar, and the reigning US Open Champion Brooks Koepka all shot -5 to have a one shot lead. Spieth was a co-favorite coming into the week and a favorite had not won The Open since 2006.
Paul Casey, who seems to have played great this year on Thursday and Friday, was tied at -4 with Charl Schwartzel. The group at -3 included Justin Thomas and Ian Poulter, a player who almost lost his tour card and had to qualify in the final qualifier at Woburn, his home club when he is in the UK.
The lead at -5 was a great score today. The weather was as expected, terrible with rain in the morning and cold. Players were wearing down vests, rain gear and two gloves to keep warm.
As far as the leaders go, Spieth and Kuchar had clean cards with no bogeys. Koepka had one bogey on his card but followed it up with an eagle! That’s a great bounce back.
Dads Say So when it comes to majors we usually see the best players rise to the top of the leaderboard. If you could have scripted your A-typical day at the British Open today would have been it. Royal Birkdale played difficult but did give scoring opportunities if you were playing well. As the field flips starting times tomorrow it will be interesting to see what the weather brings and where the cut line ends up.