GOLF

British Open 2022 ranking breakdown: Cameron Young and Rory McIlroy soar as Tiger Woods sinks at St. Andrews

ADVERTISEMENT

The 150th Open Championship kicked off in style on Thursday, with those in the morning wave experiencing much milder conditions compared to those in the afternoon. The man who managed to conquer the Old Course at St. Andrews most effectively was PGA Tour rookie and Open debutant Cameron Young.

Signing for an 8-under 64, Young hopes to follow in the footsteps of Collin Morikawa, who hoisted the Claret Jug in his first Open appearance last season at Royal St. George’s. Young wasn’t the only competitor to take advantage of the minimal winds as Rory McIlroy, Cameron Smith, Viktor Hovland and Xander Schauffele all carded turns in the red figures.

ADVERTISEMENT

While those who started early on the Old Course enjoyed an arena advantage, that didn’t stop the afternoon players from making solid rounds themselves. Dustin Johnson, Scottie Scheffler and Talor Gooch all signed for Under-68 rounds and are tied for fourth before a stalemate of under-3 players, including Bryson DeChambeau.

The wind should remain relatively stable on Friday, but the direction from which it is blowing will change in the late afternoon. This could mitigate the advantage the morning wave received today, as players will face a new variable on a golf course full of it.

Here is the ranking breakdown after the first round of the 150th Open.

Ranking of the Open Championship 2022

1. Cameron Young (-8): It’s amazing what a few weeks can do for a player’s perception. The PGA Tour rookie has been terrific this season, finishing third three times and tied for third in the PGA Championship, but entered this week having missed his last two cuts. It’s long and direct off the tee and the credits went to Scotland a week earlier as the reason for its first-round success. Hitting all 18 greens in regulation for the first time in his career, Young couldn’t have picked a better time to do it as he was clear on his way to an 8-under 64.

“I think that’s a pretty accurate representation of how I feel,” Young said of his less-than-excited demeanor. “I’m happy that I shot 64. I’m happy that as far as I know I’m still leading the Open Championship, but that’s not going to change how I feel in an hour. I mean, that Might change how I feel on the 1st tee tomorrow a bit, but I’ll forget about it pretty soon.”

2. Rory McIlroy (-6): The last time McIlroy played an Open at St. Andrews, he came through the gates at 9 under 63. This year, he shot a sterling 6-under 66 matching the first round effort of his Open triumph in 2014. The first round hasn’t been the problem for the Northern Irishman at the majors this season; rather it is what he did after the opening 18th. McIlroy entered this week as a betting favorite and remains atop the leaderboard despite a pair behind Young.

“Fantastic start. That’s kind of what you hope will happen when you start your week,” said the four-time major champion. “I did everything you’re supposed to do around St Andrews. I birdied the holes that are birdieable, and I pared the holes where you’re sort of looking to par and to move on to the next start. [I] didn’t really move too much. Overall really satisfied. It’s another good start in a major. Three in a row for me now. And I’m looking forward to the next few days.”

T3. Cameron Smith, Robert Dinwiddie (-5): The Aussie faced some consistency at the Masters, but outside of Augusta National, Smith actually struggled in major championships. Coming into the Open after finishing in the top 10 at last week’s Scottish Open, Smith is leaning on his past experience to propel him into the running. On a course where wedge play, creativity and lag putting are rewarded, Smith should like his chances going forward.

“I think by playing a few more times, to be honest. I think at the beginning of my professional career, I was maybe trying to play too much of a good shot rather than sticking to what I know,” Smith said of his learning curve for links golf. “I feel like I’m hitting shots more similar to what I would do in the United States, whereas before I thought you had to try to hit low because that’s what everyone said. it had to be done. And I think with the bumps and dips it gets pretty unpredictable and it’s just something I’ve learned over the years.”

T5. Viktor Hovland, Dustin Johnson, Scottie Scheffler, Lee Westwood and four others (-4): Not once, but twice, Hovland found himself in a bunker with no position. Taking an unplayable in one case and throwing wide in the other, Hovland being able to come home and sign for a 4-under 68 is hugely impressive. It’s the type of golf we’ve come to expect from the young Norwegian as he hasn’t really fought in a major championship yet. Knowing that this moment would inevitably come in his career, it remains a bit of a surprise given his current form. Without making the top 20 since the Players Championship, Hovland missed the cut at the Scottish Open last week despite hitting the ball well. He carried that feat into the first round, and now it’s time to see if he can replicate it over the next 54 holes.

“Obviously it’s a little infuriating at the time, but you know it’s going to happen. I got a good shot. There’s not much you can do about it. How you get out of this situation is important” , Hovland said of one of his bad bunker breaks. “And I made a good par, for example, on this hole today. Instead of letting myself be too much bothered, I then try to go for a dumb shot to get back what I lost.”

T13. Bryson DeChambeau, Xander Schauele, Joaquin Niemann and 11 others (-3): DeChambeau is certainly as surprising if not more so than Hovland given his recent wrist injury and not having played a ton of competitive golf in 2022. Still, here he is with a chance over the next three days in what would be a win. shocking despite knowing what her ceiling may be. Transforming from mad scientist to bomber, DeChambeau has turned back time and thinks effectively around the Old Course. Although that means his greatest asset – his driver – is taken out of his hands, he will be more than okay with that if the results materialize as they did in the first round.

“I’m here to win a golf tournament and I’m trying to focus on getting the best score in the best four days,” DeChambeau said. “It’s actually quite simple: once we’re out, I’m like, ‘OK, the driver is possible, but the odds say you’re not going to hit him in the fairway every time and you’ll have bad lies.’ And in some pins, you just can’t do that.”

T35. Jordan Spieth, Louis Oosthizen, Hideki Matsuyama and 16 others (-1): Spieth appeared to be golfing smart and risk-free on his first round, bogey-free up front with two birdies for a respectable 34; however, his card became much busier on the back nine with three bogeys pushing him out of the race and into a position he will be forced to climb from on Friday to face the weekend. Spieth has the creativity and skills to succeed at St. Andrews, and he’ll have every chance to prove it in his second round.

T55. Justin Thomas, Phil Mickelson, Collin Morikawa, Shane Lowry and 18 others (E): It’s been a fairly quiet week since Camp Mickelson as the 2013 Open champion opted to forgo the Champions Dinner and was left out of the spotlight ahead of the tournament. It may have done the six-time major winner some good as he shot a respectable par 72 in which he birdied three against three bogeys. Although he played sparingly in 2022, Mickelson still believes he will find his game over the next 54 holes.

“I had four months off. Obviously when I came back I wasn’t very spry,” Mickelson said. “I thought I was playing a little better than I was. My game isn’t far off at all. It just isn’t. I let a few shots slip by today, but for the most of them I feel pretty good with, like, the parts, but I just have to put them together to do the whole thing. I actually think I’ve got some good tricks in me. I think I’m going to play the next ones really well. days.

T146. Tiger Woods and three others (+6): Woods’ return to competition started as badly as one could imagine. Carding two double bogeys on his first seven holes, the three-time Open champion could never recover and then signed for a round 6 of 78. All in all it was a disappointing day, but the 46 the year-old can take comfort in the way he competed on the back nine as he won shots down the field in every metric from tee to green. Making the cut will be a difficult task as a mid-60s ride will be required, but all eyes will remain on Woods.

“I think it’s just the total score,” Woods said when asked what disappointed him the most on Thursday. “I feel like I didn’t really hit him that badly. Yeah, I had bad speed on the greens, yeah. But I didn’t really feel like I hit him that badly , but I ended up in bad places or just weird things happened. [that’s] just as it happens. Links golf is like that, and this golf course is like that. And like I said, I had my chances to turn around and roll it the right way, and I didn’t.”

Rick Gehman is joined by Kyle Porter and Patrick McDonald to recap Thursday’s action at The Open Championship. Download and follow The Early Edge on Apple podcast and Spotify.

ADVERTISEMENT