ST. ANDREWS, Scotland (AP) Jordan Spieth wasted no time seizing a rare opportunity to chase a Grand Slam, opening with six birdies in 11 holes at St. Andrews and keeping his name high on the leaderboard Thursday in the British Open.
And so did a familiar foe – Dustin Johnson.
Eight times zones and an ocean away from Chambers Bay, Johnson and Spieth picked up where they left off a month ago when Spieth beat him by one shot in the U.S. Open to capture the second leg of the Grand Slam. On this day, Johnson got the better of him with a 7-under 65.
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Johnson overpowered the Old Course with such a blend of power and accuracy that he hit wedge into all but three of the 14 par 4s. Three of them were into the wind. The other was No. 9, where he putted from just off the green.
Johnson had a one-shot lead over six players, including former British Open champion Paul Lawrie, two-time U.S. Open champion Retief Goosen and Jason Day, playing for the first time since coping with symptoms of vertigo at the U.S. Open. Zach Johnson and Danny Willett played in the afternoon as the wind strengthened, making their 66s even more impressive.
Spieth and Louis Oosthuizen, who won the last time the Open was at St. Andrews, were among those two shots back at 67.
Tiger Woods had a 76, his worst score in 13 rounds as a pro at St. Andrews. He was tied with 65-year-old Tom Watson, making his final start in the event.
OPELIKA, Ala. (AP) – Sam Saunders, Arnold Palmer’s grandson, shot a 7-under 64 in warm conditions to take the first-round lead in the inaugural Barbasol Championship.
Saunders saved par with a 15-foot putt on the par-3 eighth and closed with a birdie on the par-4 ninth to cap his bogey-free round on Grand National’s Lake Course. The 27-year-old player is winless in 45 career starts on the PGA Tour, with a career best tie for second this year in the Puerto Rico Open.
Jason Gore was a stroke back at 65. He birdied four of his last five holes.
Stanford junior Maverick McNealy, the Jack Nicklaus Award winner as the Division I player of the year, was tied for third at 66 along with Martin Flores, Will Wilcox, Carlos Ortiz and Carlos Sainz Jr.
Two-time heart transplant recipient Erik Compton topped the group at 67.
Argentina’s Emiliano Grillo, the highest-ranked player in the field at No. 98, opened with a 68.
SYLVANIA, Ohio (AP) – South Korea’s Ha Na Jang birdied the par-5 18th for a 5-under 66 and a one-stroke lead after the first round of the LPGA Tour’s Marathon Classic.
Winless in 23 career tour events, Jang birdied four of the first five holes on the back nine at Highland Meadows, dropped a stroke on the par-4 15th and rallied with the closing birdie.
Nannette Hill, Wei-Ling Hsu, Lee-Anne Pace and Sarah Kemp were tied for second. Kemp bogeyed the final hole to drop out of a tie for the lead.
Top-ranked Inbee Park, a three-time winner this season, birdied her final hole for a 70.
Defending champion Lydia Ko, ranked No. 2 in the world, opened with a 71.