There’s nothing like the British Open, and there’s nothing like true links golf.
“There’s some great American links courses, but it’s not the same,” said Jordan Spieth after his first round of the 2023 Open Championship. “You don’t have the fescue grass, and that’s what makes it.”
If you were watching U.S. Open champ Wyndham Clark on the 14th hole during Thursday’s first round of the Open Championship, you saw a major champion taking a major hack out of some of that thick fescue.
Choking up on his club, Clark swung about as hard as humanly possible, only to see his ball pop up, advance about two feet and then disappear again.
From there, his third shot landed greenside, and then he got up-and-down to save bogey on the par-4 hole, his lone bogey of the day in which he shot a 3-under 68 to put himself in contention.
— The Open (@TheOpen) July 20, 2023
“That was huge. A little unfortunate off the tee, obviously hitting the guy is never good, but it really went into a bad spot. If I didn’t hit the guy, probably would have been in fine grass and I would have been able to hit it up near the green,” Clark said. “Then I had an awful lie and hit it about two feet. Then got very fortunate I didn’t go in the bunker.”
Open Championship 2023: Leaderboard, tee times, hole-by-hole
Wait, his ball hit a fan?
“Yeah, it hit his iPad, didn’t hit him,” Clark clarified. He was then asked if the iPad was ok. “Well, I don’t care now. It screwed me up.”
Clearly not enough to throw him off his round. He birdied the next hole, parred Nos. 16 and 17 and then closed with a birdie. The pair of 4s on the two par 5s down the stretch was huge, but escaping real trouble on 14 was perhaps even bigger.
“Getting up-and-down and making about a 20-footer really is a round saver.”