British Open in Northern Ireland - Quadruple Bogey - Sports
Rory McIlroy was supposed to play the lead role in his homeland, but he plays early. German amateur golfer Matthias Schmid has a good time.
"I'm trying to look at it like any other Open," Rory McIlroy emphasized on Wednesday. However, this intent for the 30-year-old could not easily be implemented, that was clear - after all, this combination had never happened in his career: a major, the British Open, at home in his homeland. Also in Portrush, on the links course from the picture book, in the Royal Portrush Golf Club on the north coast of Northern Ireland. Only 100 kilometers away, in Holywood, McIlroy grew up. 68 years ago, the only time the British Open ever took place. After all, McIlroy, the freckled over-whelmaker of his country, who entered this rippling course at the age of 16 and left with a 61st record lap, had courage enough to make his "most stable season" in his own estimation. Then McIlroy entered tee number one this time - and when he got the ball out he could forget his purpose. It was as if Stephen King had written the script for him - a nightmare.
The climate in which competitions thrive is often marked by the success or failure of the "local heroes", the heroes of the host country, and rarely has there been a run in past tournaments at the British Open where the event was tailored to one player like now on McIlroy. Together with his national counterparts Graeme McDowell, major champion like him, who grew up in Portrush, and cowboyish oldie Darren Clarke, tearful British Open winner 2011, who owns a house with magnificent views near the complex, he should wear the event , But then: first ball "out of bounds", in the off. Penalty stroke. The counted third beat in the rough, in the tall grass. The fourth: too. He had to improve the ball, so with punches continue to play the ball from a playable spot. In the end he punched in after eight strokes - Quadruple Bogey, four over par. That was the speed with which a favorite, perhaps the top favorite this time, had crashed out of the race.
It was no comfort to McIlroy (who played a disastrous round of 79 at the end) that he did not even experience the worst disaster. Former British Open winner David Duval (USA), whose up and down descent is a story of his own, started with two birdies, but on the seventh par-5 course he needed 13 strokes (ending with 90 strokes). On Friday, McIlroy's hopes for survival are hopeless, with only half of the field scored by 156 participants. The leadership has the American J.B. Holmes taken with 66 strokes.
From the German point of view, however, the 148th Open Championship was also forgotten. Not a single professional from Germany appeared on the leaderboard - because no one had qualified. Martin Kaymer, since 2008 consistently (with one exception due to an injury) with the majors, had for the first time no start permission, but hoped as the first aspiring candidate to be able to continue the series. In vain, no competitor withdrew. So it was an irony of fate that an amateur saved German honor. Matthias Schmid from Regensburg, active for the GC Herzogenaurach and since 2017 college golfer at the University of Louisville in Kentucky, was allowed to participate. The 21-year-old had secured a starting position by winning the European Amateur Championship in Atzenbrugg, Austria, and was accordingly looking forward to this special event: "I would like to train with Tiger and Rory, they are my heroes," he told dpa Said and reassured, "Of course I will try to play well." He did not quite succeed.
Schmid started solid. On the first nine lanes he remained in the norm and finished the first half with even par (two bogeys, two birdies), without loss of impact. But on the second nine lanes he relented, two double bogeys (two over par) on track eleven and 18 threw him back. With a 76 he hardly has a chance to make the cut. After all: Schmid was better than McIlroy.