Late stumble costs Ogilvy ‘buffer’

Geoff Ogilvy is lamenting a four-hole horror stretch at St Andrews as the former major winner went from one off the lead to six off in the opening round.

Through 12 holes of the 144th British Open, Ogilvy, with the help of a 50m birdie putt on the fifth hole, had moved to six under par in the afternoon wave, chasing down Dustin Johnson’s seven-under 65.

But rather than steal the ascendancy, the 2006 US Open champion dropped five shots over the next four holes, with three bogeys and a double bogey to shoot one-under 71.

Given Friday’s second round is shaping to be a traditionally brutal war of attrition with heavy rain and winds, Ogilvy was frustrated to have given away a potential cushion.

“It’s just annoying really more than anything. Would’ve been nice to finish a few better, but there’s 54 holes to go,” Ogilvy said.

“The forecast has that look like you really need to be four or five under at this point because it’s obviously going to be completely unplayable tomorrow afternoon, but tomorrow morning doesn’t look that fun either.

“You really want to go a lot red (under par) before you start going backwards because everyone is going to go backwards tomorrow by the looks of it. It is going to be one of those British Open days.”

The Victorian goes off in the morning on Friday when stiff winds and heavy rain is due, while the afternoon wave will face less rain but stronger gusts of wind.

“Pick you poison,” Ogilvy said.

“Twenty-mile-an-hour wind with rain or 50(mph) and nothing. It’s probably slightly better in the morning and hopefully I can find something there.

“Even par tomorrow, looking at the forecast, would be an unbelievable score. I would think anything under par after two rounds would be really good.”

The 38-year-old will look to take the positives from the six birdies in his round, including the 50m special.

“It was the longest putt I’ve ever holed by a long way. Bussy (caddie) pulled the pin out of the hole and I couldn’t see the hole,” Ogilvy said.

“I knew it was in the ball park, but a putt that long you can’t really get any depth perception. It was a fair bonus for it to go in.”

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