Dustin Johnson found himself with the opportunity to win the US Open golf championship last month in Washington state. But he took three putts to finish the final hole on that Sunday in June, thus ending just short of victory.
Roughly one month removed from that heart-breaking loss, Johnson came to the British Open at St Andrews Thursday and shot a sterling seven under par 65 to take the lead after the first round.
One of his playing partners is Jordan Spieth, the man he lost to at the US Open. Spieth, attempting to become the first man since legendary golfer Ben Hogan in 1953 to win the first three major tournaments in a calendar year, played well on Thursday, firing a five under 67, good enough to tie for third.
Johnson, Spieth, and Japan's Hideki Matsuyama will tee off at 9:34 a.m. Eastern time in Friday's second round of the British Open.
Looking at the leader board after the first 18 holes in Scotland, former two-time US Open champion Retief Goosen of South Africa shot a six under 66, part of a group of six golfers one shot back of Johnson. Goosen, playing with Kevin Streelman of the US and Ireland's Shane Lowry, will start the second round at 7:50 a.m.
Also at six under is American Robert Streb. He will start Friday at 7:17 a.m., playing alongside Joost Luiten of the Netherlands and Australia's Matt Jones.
Jason Day finds himself at six under par, as well. He's paired with former British Open champion Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa, who's one shot back at five under, and Tiger Woods, who did not play well Thursday. He's at four over par. This threesome will tee off at 9:56 a.m.
One of the surprises in Thursday's first round was the play of American amateur Jordan Niebrugge. The Oklahoma State golfer also shot a five under 67, part of a five-man group tied for eighth after the first round. Niebrugge will tee off Friday at 7:28 a.m., paired with Anthony Wall of Britain and South Korea's Byeong-Hun An.
2013 British Open champ Phil Mickelson finds himself at two under par, five shots off the lead. He, along with Henrik Stenson and Matt Kuchar, who shot a one under 71, get started at 4:33 a.m. Friday
You can watch the second round of the 144th British Open Friday morning, beginning at 4 a.m. Eastern time. There will also be live video streaming at both theopen.com and WatchESPN.com.