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The Open: Fleetwood Takes the Lead, McIlroy & Rahm Await Their Turn

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The 151st Open Championship
Dates: Thu 20-Sun 23 July Venue: Royal Liverpool, Hoylake
Coverage: Live radio, text commentary, and daily video clips on the Sport News Center website. Catch the daily highlights programme on BBC Two from 20:00 BST.

Tommy Fleetwood starts strong at The Open, positioning himself as a potential first English winner in 31 years with an impressive five-under-par 66 on the inaugural morning at Royal Liverpool.

Fleetwood shares the clubhouse lead with South African novice Christo Lamprecht, who is participating in his first Open.

Royal Liverpool’s Matthew Jordan, the championship’s first tee shot taker, recorded a score of 69, placing him on par with the 2017 champion, Jordan Spieth.

World’s number two, Rory McIlroy, is slated as one of the late starters in the first round.

No Englishman has been victorious at The Open since Nick Faldo in 1992 at Muirfield. The last win on English soil was accomplished by Tony Jacklin in 1969 at Royal Birkdale.

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The Open – first-round leaderboard

Hence, the spectators’ enthusiasm was hardly surprising as they watched Fleetwood secure three consecutive birdies from the 14th and confidently putt a solid four-footer par on the last.

The 32-year-old Fleetwood, a native of Southport, which is just 30 miles up the Merseyside coast, has previously finished second in 2019 and joint fourth last year.

With a blazing back nine completed in 32 shots, Fleetwood commanded the most attention among the early starters on the Wirral coast.

Joining him was the world number one, Scottie Scheffler, who managed a birdie on the last, ending with a one-under 70. Meanwhile, Australian Adam Scott endured a double-bogey seven, finishing one over.

As Fleetwood wrapped up with his final putt, world number two McIlroy, along with third-ranked Jon Rahm and local favourite Justin Rose, were seen preparing for their first tee.

Last month’s US Open winner, Wyndham Clark, scored a birdie on the last, standing alongside fellow American and 2009 Open champion Stewart Cink at three under.

Clark was part of a trio with defending champion Cameron Smith, who scored a one-over 72, and Olympic gold medalist Xander Schauffele, who shot a 70.

The Dawn Crowd Enjoys Jordan’s Performance

Fans who arrived at the venue at 06:00 BST were treated with the sight of Jordan, a club member since the age of seven, and a familiar figure on the Royal Liverpool greens since he was three.

At precisely 06:35, Jordan, 27, delivered his tee shot to resounding applause, an experience his mother described to BBC Radio 5 Live as “amazing.” Upon signing for his 69, Jordan described the moment as “amazing,” “crazy,” and “loud,” adding, “I’m running out of words to describe it. I don’t think I can think of a better experience.”

More updates to come.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about The Open Championship 2023

Who is leading in the 151st Open Championship?

Tommy Fleetwood and Christo Lamprecht are the joint clubhouse leaders in the 151st Open Championship.

When and where is the 151st Open Championship being held?

The 151st Open Championship is taking place from Thursday, July 20 to Sunday, July 23 at the Royal Liverpool, Hoylake.

Who was the last English winner of The Open?

The last English winner of The Open was Nick Faldo, who won his third Claret Jug at Muirfield in 1992.

What is Tommy Fleetwood’s best finish at The Open?

Tommy Fleetwood’s best finish at The Open was in 2019, where he finished second. He was also joint fourth last year.

Who are some of the late starters in round one of The Open?

Some of the late starters in round one of The Open are world number two, Rory McIlroy, and world number three, Jon Rahm.

More about The Open Championship 2023

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