Dustin’s got some bottle
Four good chances to win majors have come and gone for DJ, the most recent of which at last month’s US Open must still be raw. It seemed somewhat cruel, then, to put him alongside Chambers Bay benefactor Jordan Spieth. Dustin thrived, though, enjoying plenty of conversation with his 21-year-old playing partner before shooting 65 to lead him by two. ‘Nothing bad happened at Chambers Bay,’ Johnson said post-round. ‘I wasn't disappointed, really. I played really well, did everything I was supposed to. I couldn't control what the ball was doing on the greens there. There's really no bad feelings from that, only good. I played really well and then it carried over to today. I played really well today.’
Tiger short of form
Much has been made of Tiger’s long-game and its effect on his body during his recent struggles. However, it was a lack of touch around the greens that cost him so dearly in round one here. The American was tied-12th in fairways hit (14 of 16) after round one and averaged exactly 300 yards off the tee (37th). He failed to take advantage, though, hitting just 10 greens in regulation (133rd) and taking 31 putts (58th). He seems to be lacking confidence in the scoring zone – shown most clearly when he found the water on one and chunked a pitch on 12. This part of his game needs work if he is to contend regularly again.
The amateurs are alright
Jordan Niebrugge (67), Paul Dunne (69), Romain Langasque (69), Oliver Schneiderjans (70), Paul Kinnear (70) and Ashley Chesters (71). Six of the nine amateurs in the field broke par in round one. Get set for a super scrap for that coveted Silver Medal.
Make your score on the front nine
With just a few groups left on the course this evening, six of the seven hardest holes were on the back nine with all of them playing over par. The toughest of the lot was the iconic par four 17th, the Road Hole playing to an average of around 4.8. In contrast, six of the seven easiest were on the front nine, with the par five fifth giving up three eagles and 84 birdies to play to an average of 4.5.
Home from home
What is it about South Africans and St Andrews? Louis Oosthuizen lifted the Claret Jug here five years ago and was sixth in the Alfred Dunhill Links last year. Charl Schwartzel was seventh in the same tournament in 2013 and 14th in the Open here in 2010. Retief Goosen has finished sixth or better in the two previous St Andrews Opens, while Branden Grace lifted the Alfred Dunhill Links trophy in 2012. Their form shows no sign of abating this week, the foursome shooting a combined 19-under par in the first round to sit inside the top-20 on the leaderboard.