What a first day it was at the historic Carnoustie Golf Links in Scotland. The course was incredibly dry which let balls run for what seemed like ages as drives would land in the fairway and roll for another 90 or so yards. I’ll take you through who looked good, which stars are stumbling out of the gates, and ultimately my prediction of who will hoist the Claret Jug when the tournament is all said and done.
Strong play through the first 18:
Tony Finau: Finau has been on the cusp of a winning a tournament since his solid Masters performance. 67 is a very very good score out of the gates for Finau. He looked good on the 13th knocking down a lengthy putt for birdie to bring him to 2 under and his shot on the 15th was very impressive as he hit another put for birdie, -4 on the day.
Rory Mcllroy: Finishing -2 on the round is an excellent place to be for Rory after he missed the cut in Shinnecock. Rory only found 4 fairways on the day which usually comes with some trouble but he was able to recover with smooth second shots and is currently 3 strokes off the lead.
Jon Rahm: Currently tied with Rory at 2 under, Rahm looked like he had great command of his swing today. He was able to find the green off his tee shot on the third and quite frankly there were few mistakes in his game today.
Dustin Johnson: The world’s number one golfer had a very difficult round. Currently T129 shooting 5 over, DJ is going to start playing much more aggressively if he has any hopes of playing into the weekend. We saw him struggle in the third round at Shinnecock ultimately costing him his trophy so he’ll need to find his form on Day 2.
Patrick Reed: The Masters champion had a poor outing today as he doubled 2 and had bogies on 5, 16, and 18. Reed has shown the ability to knock down long putts but just one birdie in his first round means he’s going to have to have much better command of the green.
Sergio Garcia: Another former Masters champion who can’t seem to crack Carnoustie. Garcia’s fortunate to be 4 under considering he bogied 6 times, 1, 3, 9, 10, 11, and 12. His two birdies on the day suggest he has the potential to turn his tournament around with a good showing tomorrow but he has a lot of ground to make up.
Ultimately, with rain in the forecast tomorrow I predict that the players are going to struggle. They were introduced to a very fast course today and the rain will likely change the complete style and game plan the golfers were using today. It’s obviously not their first time battling the elements so I think the leader after tomorrow’s round will certainly finish within the top three if end up winning.