Just getting to your desk on the west coast and wanting to see what you missed overnight from the final major of the year? We take a look at some early storylines from Royal Liverpool and the 2023 Open Championship on Thursday morning.
Tommy Fleetwood is doing the thing at home
For a man that’s never won a PGA TOUR event, Tommy Fleetwood has certainly been close aplenty. But the six-time winner on the DP World Tour is putting himself in contention again, shooting a -5 66 to open play and in the clubhouse as the leader. Fleetwood has been close on the biggest stage before as well, with six Top 5’s in majors, including a T4 in the Open last year, and a second alone in 2019.
Can he hang on and make the history he’s been so close to before in his backyard? The Merseyside native should have the locals behind him, and he has four Top 5’s since mid-March, and certainly has the game to contend.
Christo Lamprecht? Christo Lamprecht.
The only thing missing with this 22-year-old South African is some letters in his first name. The 2023 Amateur Champion and Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket is 6’8, and can hit it with some clean old-fashioned hate to Athens from Atlanta. He went out in 32, and finished with seven birdies including the challenging 18th against two bogeys for his -5 66 and the co-lead.
Can he hang on for a couple more days is the question. The last amateur to win the Open also played a lot of golf in the Peach State: Bobby Jones in 1930.
Hoylake is hard
The median score for those players that have already finished via the presumably-easier early tee times is +2 73, which means we could see some big numbers this afternoon and as the weekend continues. While there is some light wind, for the most part it’s a beautiful day on Merseyside, and while “nae wind, nae golf” might be the phrase for links play, if it does kick up breaking par is going to be a true challenge.