Lee Westwood was satisfied enough with his opening round of 71 at The Open Championship at Royal Liverpool.
The Worksop ace produced a battling effort in challenging conditions at the Hoylake course to post four birdies and three bogeys in the opening 12 holes before a steady run of six straight pars brought him home in 71, one under par for the tournament.
“It’s a pretty good start, especially as I was playing in the afternoon when the wind picked up, as happens with links golf,” he said.”
“I think 71 is okay. I actually thought there was a chance to shoot a pretty low score out there, even this afternoon.”
Westwood’s score leaves him five shots behind the leader Rory McIlroy, who carded a 66 in the opening round.
McIlroy, however, was among the early starters and the morning conditions were a lot more favourable for scoring than those encountered by the afternoon starters, like Westwood.
The forecast for round two tomorrow (Friday) is again seemingly against Westwood with strong winds and rain set to blow in during the morning.
However, Westwood, who tees off at 9.37am tomorrow, will be hoping the bad weather blows in late to try and redress the balance of the advantage the early starters ultimately had on day one.
I thought the course played pretty favourably, even in the afternoon and if you hit the ball well, you could have got a lot of chances for birdies,” he continued.
“I’d like to be hitting the ball a little bit better, I still don’t think I’m hitting the ball that good, but I managed my game well today.”
Westwood felt that the time off he had taken prior to last week’s Scottish Open might have helped him feel fresher going into this week.
And he agreed that if conditions do, as is forecast, get harder over the coming days, experienced players like himself could have the edge in coping better with the situation.
“I don’t think experience played a huge part with the conditions we had today, it was fairly benign out there,” he said.
“But certainly, if it gets windier, like we know it can in links golf, then experience will play a part.”