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Issue Date:- 17 July 2008

1st Day Of Competition - Update 1
Report by Sally Devine & photos by Patrick Trollope.

ATROCIOUS weather conditions greeted the early starters for today’s opening round of the Open Golf Championship at Royal Birkdale The first to tee off was Craig Parry from Australia at 6 30am.Severe cross winds and driving rain were the order of the day for those unfortunate to be drawn early. Seasoned campaigner Sandy Lyle was the first to quit the unforgiving conditions, abandoning his effort after going eleven over after the first few holes. Ritchie Beam was soon to follow him.

Current Open Champion Padraig Harrington finished his first round in a respectable 74 which given the conditions and his troublesome wrist was an achievement in itself. Speaking afterward at the press conference, Padraig said:- “Given the chance again he would like to play in the same conditions, which were similar to those in the European competition two weeks ago.”

Spaniard Sergio Garcia who is one of the favourites to win the tournament teed off at 2.30 in the afternoon accompanied by Ryuji Imada from Japan and Sean O Hair from USA. Despite the bad weather the crowds have been arriving in their thousands at the Birkdale course to see the cream of the golfing world compete for the famous Claret Jug.

One of the caddies jokingly remarked in the late morning, when passing the 13th hole:- “I think we will need Wellington Boots if this rain keeps up…”

One of the caddies jokingly remarked in the late morning, when passing the 13th hole:- “I think we will need Wellington Boots if this rain keeps up…”

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