Golf world in shock over 'inconceivable' moment at British Open

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Ian Poulter, pictured here after nailing an eagle putt from 162-feet at The Open.
Ian Poulter nailed an eagle putt from 162-feet at The Open. Image: The Open

Ian Poulter has left the golf world gobsmacked after nailing an extraordinary 162-foot putt for eagle in the opening round at the British Open.

The Englishman's drive on the par-four ninth hole at St Andrews finished just right of the green, about 50 metres from the pin.

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Just getting down in two shots would have been a creditable achievement, but Poulter had other ideas.

The 46-year-old went for glory and produced an absurd putt that went straight into the cup at speed.

"This is an outside chance," one commentator joked before exclaiming with disbelief "Oh my goodness!"

The Englishman was equally gobsmacked, putting his hand up to the brim of his cap as if to suggest he couldn't even see where the hole was because it was so far away.

Asked after his round if he even bothered to read the line of the putt from so far away, Poulter said: “I did bizarrely. I kind of hit it two cups out to the right.

Ian Poulter, pictured here lining up a putt on the fourth hole during the first round of The 150th Open.
Ian Poulter lines up a putt on the fourth hole during the first round of The 150th Open. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)

“I knew it might wander a hair right to left through the middle of the putt. Anything inside six feet (from that distance) is a hell of a putt.

"So for it to drop is beyond lucky.”

The162-foot putt is believed to be a record for a televised putt in Britain, beating the 159-foot effort of American swimming legend Michael Phelps in the Dunhill Links Championship in 2013.

Golf fans and commentators were left in absolute disbelief.

Cameron Young and Rory McIlroy shine at The Open

The start of the 150th British Open saw rookie Cameron Young making his debut with an eight-under 64 for a two-shot lead over Rory McIlroy, with Tiger Woods making what could be his last competitive appearance at St Andrews a short one.

Woods began his round by hitting out of a divot into the Swilcan Burn for a double bogey.

He ended it by taking three putts through the Valley of Sin for a par and a 78, his second-worst score in his Open career.

Woods will try to avoid leaving early from St Andrews for the second-straight time.

"Looks like I'm going to have to shoot 66 tomorrow to have a chance," he said.

"Guys did it today. And that's my responsibility tomorrow is to go ahead and do it - need to do it."

Young and McIlroy didn't have to contend with as much wind in the morning, though St Andrews has seen far stronger gusts over its centuries of golf.

Throw in the humps and mounds and difficult pin positions, and the Old Course held its own.

"It's the fiddliest Open that I've played. It's the only way I can really describe it," McIlroy said.

"OK, the 18th at Carnoustie was like a runway, that fairway. But around the greens here and just all the slopes and undulations and everything, I think as the tournament progresses, you're going to get some funny bounces and it's going to test your patience at times."

with agencies

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