The 149th Open: Paul Casey makes ‘rare’ bogey-free start, Danny Willett also off to a flyer


The English quartet of Paul Casey, Danny Willett, Andy Sullivan and Jack Senior all made encouraging begins to The 149th Open, with Casey and Willett each welcoming the massive crowds to Royal St George’s

Final Up to date: 15/07/21 2:03pm

Paul Casey stored a bogey off his card on day one

Paul Casey insisted he feels extra excited than nervous in main championships as he made a “uncommon” bogey-free begin to The 149th Open at Royal St George’s.

Casey admitted nerves are nonetheless a difficulty on the primary tee on the Ryder Cup, however he had no early issues on the Kent hyperlinks as he birdied the primary and third earlier than carding 15 consecutive pars to return a two-under 68.

That left him a shot behind early clubhouse leaders and fellow Englishmen, Danny Willett, Andy Sullivan and Jack Senior after a morning wave enjoying in what Casey described as “good {golfing} situations”.

Danny Willett birdied four of the last seven holes to fire a 67

Danny Willett birdied 4 of the final seven holes to fireplace a 67

“Clearly it was a clear spherical, which could be very uncommon for me at an Open Championship,” stated Casey, who remains to be chasing his maiden main title in his seventieth try. “Began off nice with a birdie on the primary and one other on the third.

“My nerves are nonetheless there, however not lots any extra having performed as many majors as I’ve. Now it is extra pleasure. There was a time after I was extraordinarily nervous teeing it up, to the purpose the place it affected my efficiency, and now, actually, I could not be extra excited to play.

“I really feel the need remains to be there as I have never gained one, and I desperately need to, however I do not really feel like that is including stress. I simply really feel pleasure each time. It is like a chance, and I feel extra so what’s been attention-grabbing the final couple of years with this entire pandemic and having followers away, the followers being again, I adore it.

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“So standing on this primary tee, even at present, we had a chuckle. Ian Poulter needed to tee off. Abe (Abraham Ancer) was second however Poulter was on the tee about to place the tee within the floor and we simply had amusing.

“It isn’t prefer it was. The nerves aren’t a factor, the one time I really feel like I get actually nervous now’s the primary tee of the Ryder Cup.”

Sullivan defied an early alarm name to go out within the first group of the Championship at 6:35am and carded six birdies and three bogeys in his 67, and he was glad to “drag myself off the bed” to benefit from the honour of being within the opening threeball, as he was at Carnoustie in 2018.

Andy Sullivan enjoyed the privilege of playing in the first group

Andy Sullivan loved the privilege of enjoying within the first group

“It is all the time a privilege, I feel, to be within the first group of the day,” stated Sullivan. “I did it at Carnoustie with Sandy Lyle, and that was wonderful because it was clearly Sandy’s final Open. It was fairly particular.

“Right now, as I used to be saying to the boys, it is in all probability the one occasion of the 12 months the place you really do not thoughts getting up early. For different occasions you form of drag your self off the bed and appear like the Kellogg’s man. Right now really wasn’t too dangerous. You have all the time bought a buzz to return and play The Open.”

Former Masters champion Willett arrived in Sandwich having posted just one top-10 end in 14 begins this 12 months, and he seemed set to increase that document when he slipped from two beneath to 1 over within the house of six holes across the flip.

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However birdies at 12, 14, 15 and the final propelled him again up the leaderboard as he matched Sullivan’s 67, whereas Senior put himself on observe to make the lower at The Open for the primary time in his fourth look, protecting a bogey off his card in his three-under begin.

And Willett echoed the feedback of Casey, welcoming the return of massive crowds with as much as 32,000 spectators per day anticipated to return by way of the gates.

“British followers are one of the best on this planet,” stated Willett. “The Open is a really particular venue, a really particular event for everybody. To have the ability to be clapped on to each tee, each inexperienced, actually guys who know, spectators, followers who know golf, makes an enormous distinction on this recreation.

“They’ve been on the market of their 1000’s all week, and it has been improbable to have them again.”


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