SOUTHPORT, England — Mark O’Meara, the 1998 British Open winner at Birkdale, struck the first shot of the tournament with his 6:35 a.m. tee time Thursday. And then he proceeded to take 80 more shots from there, finishing with an 11-over-par 81. His nightmarish day began with a quadruple-bogey 8 on the first hole, where he blocked his tee shot out of bounds in the driving rain and howling winds. “My day was toast and most people still hadn’t had their breakfast,” O’Meara said. “I wouldn’t say I was overly nervous. I thought I’d be more nervous. But I was not pleased when I hit that shot. I don’t think anybody would be. “My name is on my golf bag, I’ve won the Open, I’ve won the Masters, I’m in
Rickie Fowler’s tee shot on the 539-yard, par-5 15th hole Thursday soared way left and landed in the deep, deep grass. An army of spectators began an earnest search, eventually finding the ball. Fowler salvaged a 6 on the hole, despite his very, er, rough start.
SOUTHPORT, England – Julian Suri arrived on the range at Royal Birkdale Wednesday with a blank TaylorMade bag. It’s his fourth week in a row with baggage issues, and this one threatens to disrupt his first career major. Suri, who played college golf at Duke and this year has taken the European Challenge Tour by storm, is still without his usual clubs after his bag was lost somewhere between Rome and Manchester. Even worse: Vueling Airlines still hasn’t located Suri’s set. Fortunately for Suri, there is an increased equipment-truck presence at a major. The former Nike endorser is without a club contract this year, but TaylorMade reps stepped in to build him a new set that is “very close” to his