Five-time champion Tom Watson took the scenic route around Royal Liverpool on Thursday in the first round of the British Open.
“My driving today was pretty pitiful. I was in the rough, or out of bounds, or lost,” said Watson, who shot a 1-over-par 73 in a round that included 4 birdies, 3 bogeys and a double-bogey.
“I hit some decent iron shots, but with the driver, just getting the ball in the fairway was not very good. I am going directly to the practice range so I can work on something I thought about on the 18th tee.”
Before he did, he was told Tiger Woods, who shot 69, was having a good day in his first major since undergoing back surgery on March 31.
Watson, the U.S. Ryder Cup captain and a Kansas City native, has said Woods was no certainty to make the team — the 14-time major champion Woods is No. 72 in the Ryder Cup standings with only five weeks remaining to earn one of nine automatic qualifying spots.
“I would like to see Tiger do well for selfish reasons to see him get on the team,” Watson said. “And 3-under right now is a good start.”
The Ryder Cup will be held Sept. 23-28 at Gleneagles, Scotland. Woods has made every Ryder Cup team since he turned pro except for 2010, when he was returning from a scandal in his private life that led to divorce.