Defending champion Shane Lowry is currently seven shots off the pace after his first round of the Open at Royal St Georges on Thursday.
The Offaly man struggled to find the rhythm that served him so well to win the 2019 staging of this event at Royal Portrush and he had to watch one of his playing partners cruise up the leaderboard.
Playing alongside Lowry, Louis Oosthuizen is the current clubhouse leader on six under par. Lowry is currently one over par after a round of 71, as is his other playing partner, recent US Open winner Jon Rahm.
Lowry started his round with consecutive bogeys and was playing catch-up from there. He parred holes three, four and five before a birdie on six looked like getting him back on track.
On the back nine, it was another mixed bag for Lowry with three birdies cancelled out by three further bogeys. He signed for a round of 71 and a share of 77th place at present.
Hope is not lost as the course is proving tough for many players. Lowry may be seven off the lead, but he is just four shots off Top 10 pace.
He returns to the course with Jon Rahm and leader Louis Oosthuizen at 2.59pm on Friday for round two.
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