England’s Luke Donald, South African Retief Goosen, José Maria Olazábal of Spain and Australian Peter Lonard spearheaded a strong start by European Tour Members during the opening morning of The 134th Open Championship at St Andrews.
The four are all in the clubhouse with a share of second place, having compiled four under par rounds of 68, while US Open Champion Michael Campbell and France’s Thomas Levet is a shot further back. American and World Number One Tiger Woods leads the tournament on six under.
Twenty seven year old Donald, who played with Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson, dropped just one shot to par at the short 11th and secured a rare birdie at the tough 13th.
“It was a great honour to be playing with these two greats,” said Donald. “I played fabulous. I kept it out of trouble and had some fun out there.”
Goosen, the World Number Five, made seven birdies but was pegged back by a dropped shot at the seventh and a double bogey at 13. He felt there was room for improvement.
“I don’t think my iron play is quite what I would like it to be,” admitted the South African, who is second on The European Tour Order of Merit. “I had a few good shots out there, and I did hole a few putts that helps around this course.”
Earlier, European Tour Member Simon Dyson shared the clubhouse lead after a birdie at the last gave him a round of two under par 70.
The 27 year old from Yorkshire was out in the first group and said: “I was up at 4.30am this morning but I would rather be first out that last out. And I would have taken 70 beforehand.”