He had the honour of hitting the first shot at the 144th British Open, but a horror finish to his round has all but ended Australian Rod Pampling’s championship dream.
Pampling faces a mammoth battle to make the halfway cut after carding an opening five-over-par 77 in perfect scoring conditions on Thursday morning (Thursday evening AEST).
After getting to one under with a nice birdie on the par-3 11th, Pampling’s round began to slip away when he took a double-bogey on the 14th.
“Everything was going good and then I had one bad hole from the semi-rough,” he said.
“The rough’s a bit spindly but it’s a lot stronger this year with the wet weather, I guess.
“I just turned it over and, yeah, I got a bit unlucky and then got a bit of a horse shoe (putt).”
Pampling then bogeyed his last four holes to be at least a dozen shots off the pace after round one.
“It was just one of those things,” he said.
“Coming in was not so much really bad play, but just links golf; you get yourself in some bad spots and it was a bit of bad stretch unfortunately.
The veteran lamented a disappointing day on the greens.
“I just didn’t make a one-putt today,” Pampling said.
“I’ve been putting so well but you’d hit a putt where you think it was (meant to go) and it seemed to go the opposite way.
“For whatever reason, I just didn’t have anything going on the greens.”
After teeing off at 6.32am in the very first group, Pampling found a silver lining in his early but sloppy finish.
“I’ve got the rest of the day so I might as well go and do some touristy stuff and enjoy it here,” he said.