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Aussies Off The Pace But Not Out Of The Running At Carnoustie

Adam Scott is one of three Australians five shots off the pace after the opening round of The One at Carnoustie. (Photo: Henry Peters)
There are 31 players under par after the opening round of the 147th Open Championship. None, however, are Australian.

Australian Open champion Cameron Davis shares top billing through 18 holes alongside Adam Scott and Jason Day after a rollercoaster Thursday at the Carnoustie course in Scotland.

All three are even par and T32 with Marc Leishman 1-over and T50, Lucas Herbert and Cameron Smith both 2-over and T72.

New Zealand’s Michael Hendry is at the same mark while Ryan Fox, considered by many a potential contender, signed for a disappointing 3-over 74, as did Brett Rumford. 

Matt Jones endured a frustrating end to his round, a bogey-double bogey finish dropping him to 4-over and outside the top 100.

American Kevin Kisner set the mark early in the day at 5-under and with conditions proving more tricky as the day wore on his one shot cushion over fellow morning players Tony Finau and South Africans Erik Van Rooyen and Zander Lombard held up.

All 10 of the Australasians played late in the day and had the more difficult conditions, Matt Jones and Brett Rumford in the last and second to last groups respectively.

“The wind was up, and it switched a little too,” said Scott of his three birdie-three bogey performance, all his dropped shots coming on the inward half.

“The back nine is tough anyway. There's just not a lot of opportunities, though 14 is. Even though holes like 16 and 15 are downwind, it doesn't mean they play that much easier.

“They may be slightly easier to make a par, but you can still make - get yourself in trouble because your 5 iron is running at 280. If it gets one wrong bounce, you're in the bunker.”

Marc Leishman made the early move among the Australians bolting to 4-under through eight holes and among the leaders but a bogey at the 9th turned his momentum.

He followed with a disastrous double at the 10th and despite clawing one back at the 11th dropped three more shots on the way to the clubhouse.

It all added up to a 1-over 72 which left the laid back Victorian with mixed feelings.

“Good start and bad finish,” was his post round assessment. “If you hit bad shots around here, you get punished. Unfortunately, I hit a couple of average shots that finished in bad positions.

“You can rack up bogeys and doubles pretty quick. Front nine was promising. Back nine obviously wasn't what I was after.

“Like I said, with some of the shots I was hitting, to only shoot one over probably wasn't too bad.”

Cameron Davis was first out among the Australian contingent and set the tone for a roller coaster day with a run of birdie-double bogey at the fourth and fifth.

He eventually amassed five birdies against two doubles and a bogey on his way to 71, a credible end result though he will wonder what might have been.

Lucas Herbert, too, will rue mixing too many mistakes with some good play. He posted three bogeys and a double against three birdies though at 2-over is far from out of the reckoning.

Queensland’s Cameron Smith is also at 2-over after playing the opening round in one of the marquee groups, alongside US Open champion Brooks Koepka.

The 24-year-old held his own in the esteemed company though three consecutive dropped shots from the 15th was a disappointing way to finish.

With tee times flipped for round two all of the Australians will be out in the morning Friday though with rain predicted early in the day it appears they have had little luck with the draw.

Davis will be in the first group out at 6.35am local time (3.35pm AEST) while Jones will be the last of the Australians to tee off at 11.15 am (8.15pm AEST).

MORNING HIGHLIGHTS FROM DAY ONE AT CARNOUSTIE:

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