Golf

Rough first hole leaves DeChambeau scrambling in British Open debut

Bryson DeChambeau plays a shot on the 12th hole during the first round of the British Open at Royal Birkdale, Southport, England Thursday, July 20, 2017.
Bryson DeChambeau plays a shot on the 12th hole during the first round of the British Open at Royal Birkdale, Southport, England Thursday, July 20, 2017. Associated Press

SECOND-ROUND UPDATE: Both local players missed the cut, which was at 5 over. Kevin Chappell, in his second Open, shot a second-round 75 to finish at 8 over. Bryson DeChambeau, in his first Open, shot a second-round 77 and was at 13 over.

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Bryson DeChambeau of Clovis shot an opening-round 6-over 76 Thursday at the British Open.

DeChambeau’s hectic week started when he won the John Deere Classic in Illinois on Sunday evening. That qualified him for his first British Open, so he scrambled to make the trip to Royal Birkdale Golf Club in England in time for practice beginning Tuesday and then one of the earliest tee times Thursday morning (late Wednesday night Pacific time).

It didn’t get any easier when he teed off in the first round. Already one of the toughest opening holes on Open courses, a strong breeze off the Irish Sea and a light rain made the 448-yard No. 1 even more of a beast Thursday morning. DeChambeau hit into the gorse and made a triple-bogey 7. He might’ve taken solace from the performance of 1998 British Open champion Mark O’Meara, who also found the gorse and made an 8.

DeChambeau was 5-over after four holes, birdied No. 5 but made his second bogey on a par-3 and hit the turn at 5-over 39. He birdied No. 11, but a double-bogey on another par-3 (No. 14) followed by four pars left him at 76.

The former Clovis East High star tees off late in Friday’s second round, 4:52 a.m. Pacific time.

Fresno native Kevin Chappell, a Buchanan High alum, teed off late Thursday in his second British Open and shot a 3-over 73. Just like last year, Chappell arrived in England ahead of his clubs, which were lost on British Airways. Chappell tied for 53rd last year – and the airline didn’t get his clubs back to the U.S. on time, either.

“I told them they were 0-for-3 getting my clubs to me and in America, it’s three strikes and you’re out,” he said.

146th British Open

Vitals: Thursday-Sunday, Royal Birkdale Golf Club

in Southport, England (7,156 yards, par 70)

Leaders: Three American stars are tied for the lead, all at 5-under 65: Jordan Spieth, Brooks Koepka and Matt Kuchar

Notables: Jason Day 69, Rickie Fowler 71, Dustin Johnson 71, Rory McIlroy 71, Phil Mickelson 73, Tommy Fleetwood 76

TV: Second round, 10:30 p.m. Thursday-1 p.m. Friday (GOLF); third round, 1:30-4 a.m. Saturday (GOLF), 4 a.m.- noon Saturday (NBC); final round,

1-4 a.m. Sunday (GOLF), 4-11 a.m. Sunday (NBC)

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