The Open 2023: first round updates – live | The Open

Key events

Scottie Scheffler powers his second into 1 to set up a birdie chance from 12 feet. But he seriously underhits the putt and looks disappointed as he tidies up for par. Tommy Fleetwood is much happier with his four, after flying his approach over the back, from where he gets up and down. Adam Scott makes it three pars out of three from the group. “These are the days us golf nerds live for,” begins Steve Pye, speaking for us all. “There’s something special about the first day of the Open – and the second, third and fourth days – although I’m not sure my wife shares my enthusiasm. As I watched the first tee shot at 6.35am she looked at me and said: ‘Why is there golf on our television at this time of day?’ My tip is Rickie Fowler, which means everyone else should avoid him. The last time I backed a winner was Harrington in 2007, ironically picked by my wife. After I collected the winnings we went for a curry, and I said to her that I had no idea she had heard of Padraig Harrington. ‘It all sinks in eventually,’ she sighed.”

Cameron Smith begins his defence of the title. He’s not messing around, either. Looking as calm as you’d expect, the easy-going Aussie creams his opening drive down the middle. He’s followed there by partners Xander Schauffele and the new US Open champion Wyndham Clark. What’s been the problem, everyone? Meanwhile the 2009 dreamwrecker champion Stewart Cink birdies 5 and 7 to move into second spot on this early leaderboard.

-3: Lamprecht -a- (8)
-2: Cink (7)
-1: Jordan (13), Herbert (12), Pieters (9), Oosthuizen (8), Burns (4), Cantlay (1)

Stewart Cink in early action.
Stewart Cink in early action. Photograph: Andrew Redington/Getty Images

Neither Brooks Kopeka nor Patrick Cantlay can find the 1st green from their positions wide left of the fairway. The former sends his second to the right, short-siding himself behind a bunker, and ends up with an opening bogey; the latter however makes an outrageous birdie, having sent his second down a swale to the right, before whistling an undulating putt up, down and up onto the green, then in. Had it not been bang on line, it would still have been travelling today. And people say he’s slow. He’s -1.

A huge roar at the 1st as another local lad, Tommy Fleetwood, takes to the tee. But before he can hit, the world number one Scottie Scheffler has a crack. He receives a warm ovation as well, the Open gallery recognising game as it always does. Scheffler becomes the latest to tug his opening shot into the rough down the left … then Fleetwood and the third member of a stellar group, Adam Scott, follow him in. Nobody wants to find either of the bunkers down the right of the fairway, that much is clear. The 2011 Masters champion Charl Schwartzel earlier illustrated exactly why: he found one of them and ended up with a double-bogey six.

Brooks Koepka and Patrick Cantlay take turns to send their opening drives over the startled heads of the spectators lining the left-hand side of the 1st fairway. Those tee shots are beyond wild, though there shouldn’t be too much danger over there, the grass already flattened by all the human traffic. Still, there haven’t been too many opening tee shots bothering the fairway this morning. The strategically placed bunkers messing with everyone’s head. Meanwhile the leader Christo Lamprecht is this close to making yet another birdie, this time at 7, but his swinging 15-foot putt stops a dimple short. He remains at -3.

… the 22-year-old South African amateur Christo Lamprecht! Playing in his first Open, as reward for winning the Amateur Championship last year, he’s birdied 3, 5 and 6 to hit the top of the famous yellow leaderboard. And here’s a funny thing: Lamprecht studied at Georgia Tech, as did the legendary Bobby Jones, one of only two other men from the Georgia Institute of Technology to win the Amateur Championship. Jones won the Amateur as part of his famous 1930 Grand Slam season … that also included winning the Open at Hoylake. Blimey. Here, what if … no, it’s not even 10am on Thursday morning, we can’t start thinking like this.

-3: Lamprecht -a- (6)
-1: Jordan (11), Herbert (10), Larrazabal (9), Reed (8), Pieters (7), Oosthuizen (6), Cink (5)

Another salvage job from the sand here. It’s made by Matthew Jordan at 11, who finds himself right up against the steep face of a greenside bunker. The situation looks almost impossible, but he opens his wedge and swings as hard as he can, launching the ball almost completely vertically to escape in one sensational swipe. He can only land 30 feet from the flag, but that’s still some result from where he was. A bogey, but that could have been so much worse. The local lad slips to -1 and out of the lead, which is now held by …

Jordan Spieth can’t make his birdie putt on 1, but an opening par will always suffice at the Open. As for his playing partners, Jason Day pars as well, but it’s a dropped shot for Matt Fitzpatrick, although walking off, he won’t be too upset, as it could have been worse: having hit a weak wedge into a bunker, he did extremely well to get up and down to limit the damage.

From one Jordan to another … here comes the ever-entertaining Mr Spieth. The 2017 champion sends his opening tee shot into the rough down the right. That’s not ideal, but then Matt Fitzpatrick trumps it by pulling over the heads of the punters lining the left-hand side of the fairway. A nervy one from the slightly out-of-sorts 2022 US Open champ. He gets a break, a relatively decent lie near a dust track, but sends his next one into rough wide right of the green, where he’ll be short-sided and with a bunker to navigate as well. Spieth however responds by guiding his second into the heart of the green, and he’ll have a look at birdie from 15 feet or so.

Jordan’s birdie at 2 was the first of the week. The first eagle of the week has been made by Pablo Larrazabal. The 40-year-old Spaniard rakes a 35-foot right-to-left curler across the par-five 5th, and that’s why you see him tucked in behind the leader at -1. Larrazabal’s best finish at the Open, and indeed any major, is a tie for 30th at Sandwich in 2011, so a sustained challenge is unlikely … but then again he’s won twice on the DP World Tour in the last four months, at the Korea Championship and the KLM Open, so you can understand why he’s currently striding the links in the confident style.

The first shot of the 151st Open was hit by Matthew Jordan. The 27-year-old from Hoylake has been a member at his local club since he was seven, so knows the place pretty well. Still, taking the first shot at the oldest major makes things a bit different, not least because the 1st is the 17th for the members in the course’s everyday configuration. He had half of Liverpool looking on from the gallery, as well, or at least that’s what it felt like. So you couldn’t blame him for tugging his tee shot nervously into the thick rough down the left. But he gathered himself, advancing his ball into a greenside bunker, from where he got up and down for par. And now, having made several big putts along the way, he’s reached the turn in 33 strokes, birdies at 2, 5 and 8 more than compensating for a single dropped stroke at 6. The local hero leads the Open! Not bad for someone who has only played in it once before, last year at St Andrews, where he missed the cut. Now look!

-2: Jordan (9)
-1: Fox (7), Larrazabal (6), Ballester Barrio -a- (5), Lamprecht -a- (4), J Smith (1)

Matthew Jordan tees off from the first to get The Open 2023 underway.
Here we go! Matthew Jordan tees off from the first to get The Open 2023 underway. Photograph: Stuart Franklin/R&A/Getty Images

Preamble

Welcome to our coverage of the 151st Open Championship at Royal Liverpool, where so many questions will be answered over the next four days. Will Cameron Smith become the first player to retain the Claret Jug since Padraig Harrington in 2008? Will Rory McIlroy repeat his 2014 win here, thus ending his subsequent nine-year major drought? Will Rickie Fowler, runner-up behind Rory that year, crown his 2023 return to prominence with that long-awaited maiden major? Will a surprise champion emerge from the pack as Wyndham Clark did at the US Open last month? (Tom Kim? Bob MacIntyre? Why not?)

Will this year’s Masters champion Jon Rahm, PGA winner Brooks Koepka, or world number one Scottie Scheffler lift their first Claret Jug? Will comparatively out-of-sorts former champion golfers Collin Morikawa, Shane Lowry or Jordan Spieth suddenly click and land their second title? Will Viktor Hovland, out in the final pairing on Sunday at last year’s Open and this year’s PGA, finally get over the line in a major? Will Tommy Fleetwood, links expert and another Open nearly-man, seal the deal at last? Will the in-form Tyrrell Hatton finally enter the winner’s circle? Or copter a club out into the Dee Estuary in a glorious fit of pique?

Or will Xand… but we could be here all day, couldn’t we. In fact, we will be here all day, but that time will surely be better spent on action as opposed to preambulatory yakking. So without further ado, let’s mosey on out there. Hoylake ahoy!

The tee times
All times BST, the players are GB & Ireland unless stated, (a) denotes amateurs

06.35 Branden Grace (Rsa), Matthew Jordan, Richie Ramsay
06.46 Russell Henley (USA), Jazz Janewattananond (Tha), Graeme Robertson
06.57 Ryan Fox (Nzl), Lucas Herbert (Aus), Byeong-Hun An (Kor)
07.08 Rikuya Hoshino (Jpn), (a) Alex Maguire, Charl Schwartzel (Rsa)
07.19 Hiroshi Iwata (Jpn), Pablo Larrazabal (Spa), Adrian Meronk (Pol)
07.30 (a) Jose Luis Ballester (Spa), Patrick Reed (USA), Connor Syme
07.41 Darren Clarke, Victor Perez (Fra), Thomas Pieters (Bel)
07.52 (a) Christo Lamprecht (Rsa), Joost Luiten (Ned), Louis Oosthuizen (Rsa)
08.03 Stewart Cink (USA), Trey Mullinax (USA), J. T. Poston (USA)
08.14 Harris English (USA), Andrew Putnam (USA), Henrik Stenson (Swe)
08.25 Thorbjoern Olesen (Den), Jordan Smith, Scott Stallings (USA)
08.36 Ernie Els (Rsa), Takumi Kanaya (Jpn), Kurt Kitayama (USA)
08.47 Sam Burns (USA), Chris Kirk (USA), Sepp Straka (Aut)
09.03 Jason Day (Aus), Matthew Fitzpatrick, Jordan Spieth (USA)
09.14 Talor Gooch (USA), Padraig Harrington, Seamus Power
09.25 Kyoung-Hoon Lee (Kor), Davis Riley (USA), Taiga Semikawa (Jpn)
09.36 Patrick Cantlay (USA), Brooks Koepka (USA), Hideki Matsuyama (Jpn)
09.47 Tommy Fleetwood, Scottie Scheffler (USA), Adam Scott (Aus)
09.58 Wyndham Clark (USA), Xander Schauffele (USA), Cameron Smith (Aus)
10.09 Rickie Fowler (USA), Shane Lowry, Robert MacIntyre
10.20 Bryson DeChambeau (USA), Si-Woo Kim (Kor), Cameron Young (USA)
10.31 Bio Kim (Kor), Kazuki Yasumori (Jpn), Nicolai Hoejgaard (Den)
10.42 Haydn Barron (Aus), Daniel Bradbury, Oliver Farr
10.53 (a) Tiger Christensen (Ger), Martin Rohwer (Rsa), Marcel Siem (Ger)
11.04 Richard Bland, Lee Hodges (USA), Antoine Rozner (Fra)
11.15 Laurie Canter, Yannik Paul (Ger), Sami Valimaki (Fin)
11.36 Alex Fitzpatrick, Rasmus Hoejgaard (Den), Matthew Southgate
11.47 Daniel Hillier (Nzl), Kensei Hirata (Jpn), Kyung-Nam Kang (Kor)
11.58 Kazuki Higa (Jpn), Michael Kim (USA), Callum Shinkwin
12.09 Kyle Barker (Rsa), Zack Fischer (USA), Taichi Kho (Hkg)
12.20 Romain Langasque (Fra), Travis Smyth (Aus), Brendon Todd (USA)
12.31 Alexander Bjoerk (Swe), Adrian Otaegui (Spa), Gary Woodland (USA)
12.42 Christiaan Bezuidenhout (Rsa), (a) Harrison Crowe (Aus), Min-Woo Lee (Aus)
12.53 Corey Conners (Can), Billy Horschel (USA), Alexander Noren (Swe)
13.04 Abraham Ancer (Mex), Tom Hoge (USA), Joo-Hyung Kim (Kor)
13.15 Zach Johnson (USA), David Micheluzzi (Aus), Matt Wallace
13.26 Emiliano Grillo (Arg), Dustin Johnson (USA), Sahith Theegala (USA)
13.37 (a) Mateo Fernandez (Arg), Denny McCarthy (USA), Francesco Molinari (Ita)
13.48 Thomas Detry (Bel), Brian Harman (USA), Thriston Lawrence (Rsa)
14.04 John Daly (USA), Taylor Moore (USA), Danny Willett
14.15 Ben Griffin (USA), Ockie Strydom (Rsa), David Lingmerth (Swe)
14.26 Adria Arnaus (Spa), Ewen Ferguson, Keita Nakajima (Jpn)
14.37 Keegan Bradley (USA), Sung-Jae Im (Kor), Joaquin Niemann (Chi)
14.48 Tony Finau (USA), Viktor Hovland (Nor), Justin Thomas (USA)
14.59 Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm (Spa), Justin Rose
15.10 Tyrrell Hatton, Max Homa (USA), Collin Morikawa (USA)
15.21 Phil Mickelson (USA), Adam Schenk (USA), Nick Taylor (Can)
15.32 Alejandro Canizares (Spa), Ignacio Elvira (Spa), Marc Warren
15.43 Connor McKinney (Aus), Guido Migliozzi (Ita), Oliver Wilson
15.54 Kalle Samooja (Fin), Shubhankar Sharma (Ind), Gunner Wiebe (USA)
16.05 Jorge Campillo (Spa), Brandon Thompson, Michael Stewart
16.16 Seung-Su Han (USA), Hurly Long (Ger), Marco Penge