The Open 2018 diary: Spieth's got ball skills as Finau proves the scratch golfer

Jordan Spieth's football skills and Tony Finau's itch were among the more obscure highlights as The Open began at Carnoustie on Thursday.

Jordan Spieth, who's football skills have been commended   -  Getty Images

The long-awaited and hallowed first day of tournament action began at Carnoustie on Thursday. With the Angus course basked in glorious sunshine, the 147th Open Championship enjoyed an enthralling opening round.

But, it's not all about the serious business of the leaderboard and there were plenty of other talking points from around the famous links track. From itchy shoulders to dodgy footballers, our daily diary has got you covered.



You'd think that by the age of 60 and with two majors in the bag, the nerves at being asked to play the first tee shot of The Open would subside.

But, that was not the case for local hero Sandy Lyle, who garnered quite a following throughout on Thursday despite his 6.35am tee time.

"I was hoping to get away with just 20 people on the first tee and 15 of those being my family. I was nervous last night, let alone today," he said.

READ: Thomas: I could have finished stronger


Tony Finau was met with some concern in the mixed zone after appearing to struggle with some discomfort during his round.

Did the American, who dislocated his ankle before the Masters, have fears about his ability to continue? Well, not exactly. It turns out he just had an itchy shoulder.

"Shoulder, yeah," he began. "It was just a little itchy out there. My right shoulder blade was itching me all day. It's fine. Just a little itchy."

I guess that's what you call a scratch golfer...

ALSO READ: Disappointing start for Lahiri, American Kisner in lead at Open


It's no secret, or at least it shouldn't be, that Jordan Spieth is rather good at the game of golf. But, Kevin Kisner revealed that the defending Open champion is also a pretty decent footballer (or soccer depending on which side of the Atlantic ocean you are)…or at least sometimes he is.

"Oh, yeah, absolutely [Spieth's good at football]. Until he sends it over the goal four houses over and we've got to go knock on neighbours' doors for the ball!" Kisner said, after telling the assembled media how the American he is sharing a house with enjoys a kick-around in the evening.

ALSO READ: Woods off to a flyer as Thomas charges


When playing alongside Jordan Spieth and Justin Rose it can be easy to feel like the forgotten man. But, Kiradech Aphibarnrat ensured he had a moment to savour in the company of his perhaps more illustrious colleagues.

The Thai largely toiled in round one at Carnoustie but, in view of one our reporters, he nailed a crisp sand wedge from the 17th fairway that bounced once and landed in the cup to much applause from the galleries.

Well in, Kiradech, well in indeed…

ALSO READ: Spieth disappointed with missed opportunity


Creativity is essential in links golf and Sergio Garcia dug deep into his hefty reserve of shots when playing into the Barry Burn at the 10th.

Rather than take a drop, the popular Spaniard played out of the hazard...unfortunately it still resulted in a bogey, one of four in succession. While the water troubled Sergio, it was the sand that caused U.S. Open champion Brooks Koepka grief.

After finding the bunker at the eighth, Koepka initially played the shot on his knees only to see the ball trickle back in. Things got worse with a fluffed second attempt and eventually rescued a double-bogey five.

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