Dustin Johnson playing in the 144th Open Championship at St. Andrews in Scotland turned the most iconic golf course in the world into a pitch-and-putt.
Johnson shot a 7 under 65 to lead all golfers. He consistently launched his driver over 340 yards, taking bunkers and high grass out of play and bringing the storied golf course to its knees.
The 31-year-old South Carolina native, who now resides in Southern California, upstaged Masters and U.S. Open winner Jordan Spieth. The 21-year-old phenom fired an impressive 67 to put himself two back and in good position going into Friday’s round.
Spieth looks to capture the third leg of the historic grand slam by winning here and the PGA Championship in Whistling Straits next month.
Former Kansas State golfer Robert Streb, who shot 66 playing in his first Open, remains one behind the leader. Also trailing Johnson by one stroke are Retief Goosen, Paul Lawrie, Zack Johnson, Jason Day and Danny Willett.
Not in the hunt is Tiger Woods. The 14-time major champion once more underwhelmed, notching a 4 over 76. The beleaguered former world’s greatest failed to get his distances right all day.
The 39-year-old legend and three-time winner of the Open re-incorporated the ‘chili-dip’ back into his game, failing on number twelve to get his ball on the green from twenty yards away. Tiger fatted a couple early in the round, going off bogey, bogey on holes one and two—the only player in the field to do so.
Despite the benign playing conditions—relatively no wind—Woods shot his worst score ever at St. Andrews in Open competition.