Thursday was a tremendous day at the first round of the British Open. If you missed any of the golf here are 10 things you need to know about what happened.
1. That leaderboard! Rory McIlroy leads but Sergio Garcia, Adam Scott, Tiger Woods, Jim Furyk, Rickie Fowler, and Jason Dufner are right on his heels. If that holds ESPN executives will be doing this on Sunday morning:
2. Tiger Woods was impressive: Count me among the non-believers regarding Tiger and this year's British Open. I just didn't see it happening so soon after back surgery.
He had that look we're used to Tiger having on the back nine, though. Five birdies in six holes and a 33 coming in. He hit all the shots, too. Even that little baby draw he doesn't love:
3. Rory McIlroy was even more impressive: Six birdies and no bogeys from the Ulsterman. I've said it a number of times before but his best is better than everybody else's best.
When Rory gets locked in with his irons he doesn't even need to putt well -- he just taps in birdies and struts to the next hole.
The problem? Last time he led the Open (2010) he shot an 80 in round two. Buckle your seatbelts on Friday.
Bubba wasn't even the best Watson in the field. Elder statesman Tom shot a 1-over 73.
5. Italy rocked the morning: The three Italians in the field combined to shoot the opposite of the Bubba-Phil group at 13 under.
Manassero is only one back of McIlroy and the Molinari brothers (or "Mo Bros" as I like to call them) are both at 4 under, two back of the lead.
6. Phil's struggles: Lefty told ESPN he "hit the ball better than he has in over a year" but that his score "sucked." Defending the Open championship, as Justin Ray pointed out, is not a joke:
Heavy is the crown. Phil Mickelson: 4th straight @The_Open defending champ to card +2/worse in 1st Rd of title defense.— Justin Ray (@JustinRayGC) July 17, 2014
7. No weather: The wind on Thursday was downright tame. Will we see the same all week? If so you might something around Tiger's 18 under mark in 2006 win this year's tournament.
The rain and wind has a chance of rolling in on Thursday in the morning. That's good news for Rory and Tiger (via Weather Channel):
8. Adam Scott hung in: The scoring average in the afternoon groups went up dramatically but Scott shot a terrific 68 that included an eagle and four birdies.
Of the 18 players at -3 or better today, 15 played in the early half of tee times— Justin Ray (@JustinRayGC) July 17, 2014
He told ESPN afterwards he wasn't 100 percent pleased.
"It could have been better, but I'm certainly not complaining," said Scott.
9. I died laughing watching this: But I've also been up since 3 a.m.
It does give me the chance to say that the British Open is my favorite tournament to blog. The strange combination of the layout, the times here in the US, the golfers invovled, and the GIF-ness (for lack of a better term) makes it tough to beat. h/t Adam Sarson
10. What does it all mean? So all of this was fun and all but how important, really, is the first round of the British Open?
Last 5 #TheOpen champions after the first round: T6, T6, T6, 2, T5 - Good starts matter. However, 1st round leaders: T6, 2, 4/T30, T3, 13— Will Haskett (@willhaskett) July 17, 2014
So if form holds Rory won't win but one of the following guys will: