Australia's Adam Scott had a shaky start to The Open. Picture: Paul Ellis/AFP
Australia's Adam Scott had a shaky start to The Open. Picture: Paul Ellis/AFP

Scott in fierce fight to make The Open cut

ADAM Scott faces a desperate fight to avoid his first British Open cut in a decade after making a disastrous start at Royal Portrush.

Scott racked up two double bogeys and four bogeys in a demoralising seven-over- par 78, his worst opening to the championship since a forgettable 82 at Royal St George's in 2003.

Hoping to make another run for the Claret Jug in his 20th consecutive Open tilt, Scott instead floundered in Portrush's infamous fairway pots and once again battled a recalcitrant putter.

"I didn't really have anything going my way and got myself into some trouble I couldn't get out of. It's just disappointing," Scott said.

"It's classic links golf; you've got to stay out (of trouble) and when you're in 'em, you've got to get out and twice today I left it in a bunker," he said.

"It's always easier said than done, but it was one of those days; every bunker I was in, I was on the back side of a bunker and it wasn't just as simple as getting it out."

The 2013 Masters champion could have added at least a second major to his CV this year if not for a raft of missed short putts while well in contention this year at Augusta, the US PGA at Bethpage Black and the US Open at Pebble Beach. And yet again the flat stick failed him on Thursday.

"I missed two short ones today, but what's new?" he said.

Adam Scott had a tough time of it.
Adam Scott had a tough time of it.

"I missed two short ones at the US Open and it's more about putting myself in really poor positions that cost me a lot of shots.

"It was tough out there at times. It was probably the windiest conditions I've seen in two weeks today and the course played very well.

"It's a great track and if you hit the right shots in the right spot, you can have a good score."

And that's exactly what the former world No.1 is banking on to avoid not being around at the weekend for the first time since 2009 at Turnberry.

"I've Just got to go and shoot a low one tomorrow," Scott said. "I feel like I'm playing well enough. I just hit three swings today that I feel cost me at least five shots.

"So I don't think there's much in it, but they're the errors you can't make.

"I don't think I really need to work on anything.I think I just brush this off and say it was a tough day at the office and come out and play hard tomorrow."

Scott's shocker left him in a tie for 144th in the 156-man field and trailing American first-round J.B Holmes by 12 shots.

MCILROY STARTS OPEN WITH A QUADRIPLE BOGEY

Rory McIlroy went out of bounds on his first shot of the British Open, then left his ball unplayable in thick brush near the green and ended up with a quadruple- bogey 8.

The 2014 champion holds the course record at Royal Portrush, shooting a 61 when he was 16 in the North of Ireland Amateur.

McIlroy went out of bounds left in an internal area of the course off the tee. After hitting his provisional left again into the rough, his approach cleared a bunker but landed in a patch of thick grass and he was forced to drop. He chipped onto the green but missed a 6-foot putt.

Heading into this year's tournament, the first in Northern Ireland since Royal Portrush hosted the event in 1951, McIlroy was considered to be a strong contender for a second British Open title.

TIGER TROUBLE

Tiger Woods admitted age and a troublesome back will make competing for more major titles all the more difficult after shooting a seven-over par opening round at the British Open on Thursday.

Woods captured the world's attention by winning his 15th major at the Masters in April and his first for 11 years following a series of injuries and scandals.

Spinal fusion surgery allowed him to return to elite level golf in December 2017, but the 43-year-old never looked comfortable in the cold as wind and rain battered the Portrush coastline.

"I'm just not moving as well as I'd like. Unfortunately, you've got to be able to move, and especially under these conditions,shape the golf ball," said Woods.

"I didn't shape the golf ball at all. Everything was left-to-right and I wasn't hitting very solidly." Woods has not played since the US Open last month and conceded earlier in the week that he will have to scale down the number of tournaments from his calendar to tryand keep competing for more majors.

"It's just the way it is. Just father time and some procedures I've had over the time," he added.

"One of the reasons why I'm playing less tournaments this year is that I can hopefully prolong my career, and be out herefor a little bit longer."

News Corp Australia

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