The Open 2019: first round – live!


Bout ye … and welcome to our coverage of the 148th Open Championship. To date, 96 Opens have been staged in Scotland; 50 have been held in England. But only one of the 147 previous tournaments has taken place in Northern Ireland, here at Royal Portrush way back in 1951. Well, it’s back, baby! It’s been a while, but it’s back.

And what a venue! Carnoustie might have the reputation as the toughest course on the Open rota, St Andrews the one most steeped in history. But Portrush – set among rolling dunes hugging the gorgeous Antrim coast, offering views of the Giant’s Causeway, hilly Inishowen, peaty Islay, all that – is perhaps the prettiest.

Not that it’ll be a pushover. Back in 1951, only three players broke 70 during the entire tournament, although none of them went on to win. Max Faulkner lifted the auld Claret Jug after rounds of 71, 70, 70 and 74, his trendy long-shafted blade putter smoking hot, making up for the wild slice he’d battled all week. The Dunluce Links course has changed a bit since then, in preparation of an Open for the modern era – a couple of new holes, extra length, more bunkers – but chances are we’ll see a few more sub-70 rounds this time. Even so, let’s bear in mind that two of the three closing holes are called Calamity and Purgatory. One way or another, we’ll see some drama this week.

So who’ll follow Faulkner into the history books as an Open winner at Portrush? Local hero Rory McIlroy is the favourite, having held the old course record here (61) before the big redesign of 2015. He’s looking for his fifth major title, as is Brooks Koepka, who paid his dues on the European Tour as a young man and knows full well what needs to be done on this sort of track. The usual suspects line up behind the two favourites: Dustin Johnson, Justin Rose, Jon Rahm, the defending champ Francesco Molinari, Xander Schauffele, Tommy Fleetwood, Adam Scott, Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth and of course Tiger Woods. We could continue in this vein for a long, long time – the new US Open champ Gary Woodland? An overdue major breakthrough for Rickie Fowler? Late-career glory for that other local lad G-Mac? – but we’ve got four days of hot golf action stretching out ahead of us, so let’s immediately get down to business. Open fever is raging! Dr Golf’s casebook is bursting at the seams! It’s on!

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First round tee times (all BST):

6.35am: Darren Clarke, James Sugrue (a), Charley Hoffman
6.46am: Emiliano Grillo, Sung Kang, Thomas Thurloway (a)
6.57am: Andy Sullivan, Christiaan Bezuidenhout, Alexander Levy
7.08am: Chan Kim, Zander Lombard, Brandon Wu (a)
7.19am: Richard Sterne, Romain Langasque, Matthias Schmid (a)
7.30am: Padraig Harrington, Matthew Fitzpatrick Andrew Putnam
7.41am: Bubba Watson, Eddie Pepperell, Rafa Cabrera-Bello
7.52am: Phil Mickelson, Shane Lowry, Branden Grace
8.03am: Alex Noren, Mike Lorenzo-Vera, Sam Locke
8.14am: Webb Simpson, Sergio Garcia, C.T. Pan
8.25am: Ryan Palmer, Andrea Pavan, Dylan Frittelli
8.36am: Kyle Stanley, Robert MacIntyre, Andrew Johnston
8.47am: Mikko Korhonen, Oliver Wilson, Curtis Knipes (a)
9.03am: Ian Poulter, Sungjae Im, Kiradech Aphibarnrat
9.14am: Henrik Stenson, Xander Schauffele, Graeme McDowell
9.25am: Haotong Li, Russell Knox, Bernd Weisberger
9.36 p.m. Jason Kokrak, Connor Syme, Austin Connelly
9.47 p.m. Zach Johnson, David Duval, Corey Conners
9.58am: Francesco Molinari, Bryson DeChambeau, Adam Scott
10.09am: Rory McIlroy, Gary Woodland, Paul Casey
10.20am: Rickie Fowler, Kevin Kisner, Hideki Matsuyama
10.31am: Jim Furyk, Si-Woo Kim, Jimmy Walker
10.42am: Luke Lista, Alexander Bjork, Paul Waring
10.53am: Shugo Imahira, Nate Lashley, Benjamin Herbert
11.04am: Mikumu Horikawa, Callum Shinkwin, Garrick Porteous
11.15am: Prom Messawat, Matthew Baldwin, Jack Senior
11.36am: Tom Lehman, Joaquin Niemann, Miguel Angel Jimenez
11.47am: Byeong Hun An, Jorge Campillo, Chris Wood
11.58am: Joel Dahmen, Adri Arnaus, Dimitrios Papadatos
12.09pm: Stewart Cink, Rory Sabbatini, Innchoon Hwang
12.20pm: Erik Van Rooyen, Kurt Kitayama, Jake McLeod
12.31pm: Ryan Fox, Shaun Norris, Dongkyu Jang
12.42pm: Tyrrell Hatton, Keith Mitchell, Thomas Pieters
12.53pm: Justin Thomas, Tommy Fleetwood, Thorbjorn Olesen
1.04pm: Brooks Koepka, Louis Oosthuizen, Shubhankar Sharma
1.15pm: Billy Horschel, Jazz Janewattananond, Aaron Wise
1.26pm: Jordan Spieth, Marc Leishman, Danny Willett
1.37pm: Cameron Smith, Adam Hadwin, David Lipsky
1.48pm: Paul Lawrie, Chez Reavie, Justin Harding
2.04pm: Takumi Kanaya (a), Tom Lewis, Brandon Stone
2.15pm: Lucas Glover, Joost Luiten, Nino Bertasio
2.26pm: Ernie Els, J.B. Holmes, Abraham Ancer
2.37pm: Brandt Snedeker, Lee Westwood, Brian Harman
2.48pm: Justin Rose, Tony Finau, Lucas Bjerregaard
2.59pm: Dustin Johnson, Jason Day, Keegan Bradley
3.10pm: Tiger Woods, Matt Wallace, Patrick Reed
3.21pm: Jon Rahm, Patrick Cantlay, Matt Kuchar
3.32pm: Kevin Streelman, Doc Redman, Robert Rock
3.43pm: Adrian Otaegui, Yuta Ikeda, Isidro Benitez
3.54pm: Patton Kizzire, Sang Hyun Park, Yuki Inamori
4.05pm: Yoshinori Fujimoto, Doyeob Mun, Andrew Wilson
4.16pm: Gunn Charoenkul, Yosuke Asaji, Ashton Turner



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