Justin Thomas could be forgiven if he felt like snapping his sand wedge in half at the British Open overnight, after the World No.20 turned in an 11-over round of 82 on the opening day. The nightmare outing, which featured four bogeys, two double-bogeys and a cringe-inducing quadruple bogey on the 18th hole at Royal Liverpool, left fans in utter disbelief at the 30-year-old's struggles.
While it was hometown hero Tommy Fleetwood who set the early running with a five-under-par 66, Thomas was left in utter despair after becoming trapped in the 18th hole bunkers, a miserable end to what had already been an difficult day. Having missed the cut in three of his last four starts, Thomas faces an uphill battle to make it at The Open, after getting off to an inauspicious start by chipping into the bunker on the first hole.
His struggles on the 18th were a reflection of how the entire round had been for the American star, chunking his first shot out of the final hole sandtrap directly onto another one opposite. So bad was his lie that he had to hit back towards the tee for a bogey in order to set up another approach to the green.
Fans had plenty of sympathy for the struggling star. His best showing so far in 2023 was fourth place at the Phoenix Open in Arizona back in February.
Commentator Paul Azinger described how 'lonely' it could be on the course while buried in the midst of such a slump. “This has been a disastrous day for Justin Thomas,” he said on the US broadcast of the tournament.
"It’s a lonely feeling. He’s really going through something.
“When you have [confidence], you never think you’ll lose it. And when you lose it, you never think you’ll get it back.”
Justin Thomas disaster class
JT makes a 9 on the 18th pic.twitter.com/RqbSjpaily
— Barstool Sportsbook (@BSSportsbook) July 20, 2023
If you’ve been in the depths of golf hell before, watching Justin Thomas struggle like this is terrifyingly relatable. Really, really pulling for him to break out of this slump.
— Eric Lindquist (@EricLindquist) July 20, 2023
Easy guy to like so this is tough to watch. Downfall of JT has been disappointing
— Justin Hogan (@justinhogan_) July 20, 2023
Aussie star hits fan on wild opening day at British Open
Adam Scott has won a new fan in the British Open galleries despite hitting the unwitting spectator on the head with a wayward drive at Hoylake. The veteran Australian star had a calamitous double-bogey at the par-five 18th hole on Thursday, a saga that began when his first drive veered right and out of bounds and hit a man among the big galleries which had flocked to the opening day.
The man ended up with cuts and needed treatment as Scott looked on in concern after he saw the supporter had been left dazed and with cuts to his head from the blow. When it was clear he was going to be okay, Scott pulled out a glove, signed it and handed it to his victim. It contained the simple message: "Sorry, mate."
The fan, identified as Chris who works at a Liverpool brewery, posted pictures on social media showing the cuts to his head, saying: "This is what happens when you take a day off work!" But he made it clear all was forgiven as he added on his company's Twitter feed: "Thanks for the signed glove. Good luck with the rest of the week Adam Scott."
The incident clearly shook 43-year-old Scott, though, as he went back to the tee after his drive and compensated wildly by hooking the next one into the rough in the other direction.
He eventually finished with a seven, which ruined what had been until then an excellent round as he had been on course to shoot a one-under 70 if he had parred 18. Instead, he had to settle for a one-over par 72.
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