Sheffield’s Matthew Fitzpatrick, the youngest player in the field at 18, made his mark in the Open at Muirfield yesterday.
Fitzpatrick, of Hallamshire GC went round in 73, two over.
He only finished his A levels last week and said of his round: “It’s been amazing. I was physically nervous but managed to hold myself together.
“The cheer on the first tee was something else and the support of the crowd generally was fantastic.”
Fitzpatrick matched Scottish Amateur champion Grant Forrest’s 73 but they are both behind Jimmy Mullen in the race for the Silver Medal for leading amateur as the North Devon 19-year-old, who was two under at the turn, finished even par.
Lee Westwood carded a 72, one over par.
He said: “I didn’t drive the ball very well which accounted for most of my bogeys.
Former Masters champion Zach Johnson today began the 142nd Open Championship in the same imperious style as he did the 141st, but there was no let up in the misery for world number two Rory McIlroy.
While Ian Poulter labelled some of the pin positions at a parched Muirfield as “a joke”, McIlroy blamed himself for a “brain dead” round of 79 which left him 13 shots off Johnson’s lead.
Johnson carded a five-under 66 to lead by one from Spain’s Rafael Cabrera-Bello and 1998 champion Mark O’Meara, with 1996 winner Tom Lehman a shot behind alongside fellow Americans Dustin Johnson and Brandt Snedeker, Spain’s Miguel Angel Jimenez and India’s Shiv Kapur. Kapur held the lead when he raced to the turn in 30, but dropped three shots on the back nine.
Tiger Woods, seeking the 15th major title of his career and a first since 2008, was ominously poised on two under, but US Open champion Justin Rose’s hopes of back-to-back majors suffered a blow with a 75 and defending champion Ernie Els was only one shot better off.Johnson, who opened with a 65 at Lytham 12 months ago stormed to the turn in 31 thanks to an eagle and three birdies.