Bryson DeChambeau and Jordan Spieth of the US on the 18th green during the first round. (Photo: REUTERS/Lee Smith)
SANDWICH, England: Jordan Spieth gave his big-hitting fellow American Bryson DeChambeau a masterclass in the complexities of links golf as the former champion began his latest British Open campaign in fine style on Thursday (Jul 15).
Spieth, who claimed the Claret Jug at Royal Birkdale in 2017 but whose form has slumped, recovered from an early bogey to card a five-under 65 - producing a beautifully controlled round in a moderate breeze around the Royal St George's layout.
Playing partner DeChambeau crunched a few trademark monster drives but all too often found himself chopping out of thick rough on his way to a disappointing one-over 71.
Three successive birdies on the back nine appeared to have got things moving but a wild tee shot on the 15th left him in knee-deep hay and cost him a bogey.
The 2020 US Open champion launched another huge drive on the 17th but a poor approach shot ended with a three-putt bogey while another rip-roaring tee shot on the 18th and deft chip should have earned him a birdie but he slid a putt past.
It was all a bit underwhelming for the flat-cap wearing giant and the galleries who had followed the group expecting fireworks were left admiring the craft of Spieth.
Spieth had the world at his feet in 2017 when his British Open title meant he joined Jack Nicklaus as the only player to win three of golf's four majors before the age of 24.
Since then it has been a struggle and he ended 2020 in 82nd place in the world rankings.
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