Dynamic Daly sets blistering early pace
John Daly produced spectacular early fireworks to set the pace in British Open.
St Andrews: Former champion John Daly produced some spectacular early fireworks to set the pace in the British Open first round on Thursday.
Daly, who won here in 1995, reeled off seven birdies in the first 12 holes to charge to seven under par, one ahead of German Marcel Siem and two in front of Briton Simon Dyson and Australian John Senden.
In perfect scoring conditions, with the greens still soggy from Wednesday`s downpour and not a breath of wind, playing partners Tiger Woods and Justin Rose were also making good progress in the dank gloom of St Andrews.
The world number one drove off at the first to a lone cry from the galleries of `Woods time` and started out with a safe par four.
The 14-times major champion, bidding to become the first player to win three St Andrews Opens after his victories here in 2000 and 2005, then moved into red figures when he rolled in a 14-foot birdie putt at the second.
Woods, making his first competitive appearance on foreign soil since the revelations of his extra-marital affairs last year, was getting good support from the Scottish fans but rarely looked up to acknowledge their cheers.
Daly, dressed in lilac and lime green trousers, a pink tee-shirt and sleeveless lilac sweater, was equally as colourful with his golf on the manicured fairways and greens of the Old Course.
The 44-year-old American made the perfect start with a birdie at the first, the trigger for a succession of brilliant approach shots as he raced to the turn in 31, five under.
Daly then made further inroads after driving the 10th and two-putting for birdie before prompting a loud roar from the crowd by sinking a 12-footer at the 11th.
He also went agonisingly close to an eighth birdie at the 12th but his seven-foot attempt horse-shoed out.
Earlier Scotland`s Paul Lawrie, the last British player to win a home Open, struck the first tee shot at 0530 GMT to get the 150th anniversary tournament under way.
Before an eager smattering of spectators, the 1999 champion found the centre of the first fairway to lead out the 156-man field in the third major of the year.
Torrential rain on Wednesday forced the abandonment of the Champions Challenge four-hole tournament involving a host of former winners but when the early starters flung open their curtains on the opening day they were greeted by flat, calm but overcast conditions.