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Paul Archbold surprise leader of Australians at St Andrews

Thaworn Wiratchant joint leader after day one (Photo: Getty Images)
American Kirk Triplett and Thailand’s Thaworn Wiratchant share the opening round lead at the Senior Open Championship at St Andrews after each opening with rounds of 65 on the Old Course.

Ireland’s Paul McGinley and Canadian Stephen Ames are one shot off the pace while defending champion and senior golf’s number one player, Bernhard Langer, is at 5 under and just two from the lead.

Langer birdied four of his first five holes and then added another at the 10th and appeared at that stage as if he would take control of the event but the momentum slowed over the closing stages.

The prolific winner of titles on the Champions Tour (27) and 42-time European Tour winner can still enthuse about playing at the home of golf.

“It doesn't get any better,” said Langer. “I love links golf no matter where, but to play at the Old Course is just huge. It's a lot of fun. When you get to our age, you never know, could this be the last one at the Old Course, could be the last one anywhere.”

Langer played with five-time Open Championship winner, Tom Watson in today's first round and talked after about what a joy that had been. "It's always great to play with Tom Watson. He's won more Open Championships than anybody I think, and he's won a lot of great tournaments all over the place, and you can always learn from Tom Watson.

"He's a fantastic wind player. He's got a great mind. He never gets down on himself and is always very positive. I just enjoyed playing with Tom many times over the last 34 years." 

The leading Australian after day one is qualifier Paul Archbold, the Germany-based West Australian opening with a round of 69 to be four shots from the lead.

A former Australian PGA Trainee of the Year, Archbold is the Director of Golf at the Golf and Country Club Seddiner See in Wildenbruch in Germany and is playing his third Senior Tour event after capturing the final Senior Open qualifying spot at Lundin Links earlier this week.

David McKenzie opened with a round of 70, Peter Fowler 71, Peter Lonard 73, and Mike Harwood, Peter O’Malley and New Zealander Greg Turner 76.  

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