Three straight bogeys early in his front nine put a damper on Tom Watson's opening round. (Getty Images)
Watson disappointed with start, but not down
Tom Watson didn't feel any extra pressure to start strong in the wake of his amazing British Open run last year. But he was sluggish early, and said he's just not playing as well as he was last year.
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM Chief of Correspondents
ST. ANDREWS, Scotland -- By the time he reached the fifth hole on the Old Course on Thursday, Tom Watson had bogeyed three straight. Not even the birdie he got there could turn things around as the 60-year-old finished with a 73 in his first round of the British Open.
"I got off to a sluggish start … and never really got going after that," Watson said. "I had some makeable putts. Got a birdie at five but didn’t really get the ball in the hole as well as I could have and didn’t hit the ball as well as I should have.
"So it was a difficult day for me."
But Watson said he didn’t feel any more pressure this week given his Cinderfella run to the playoff at Turnberry in 2009. "I am just not playing quite as well as I was this time last year," the five-time Open champ said simply.
With surprisingly sunny skies and virtually no wind, Watson knew the Old Course was going to be at its most generous on Thursday. But the next three days should prove the equalizer.
"It was there for the taking, but what is going to happen is that the wind will start this afternoon and then it’s going to blow hard tomorrow and the next three days," Watson said. "What she gave away this morning, she will take away the next three days and it will be a wonderful test of golf."