Sandy Lyle, the Champion Golfer from 1985, gets the 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie underway


Sandy Lyle Gets 147th Open Championship Underway

Sandy Lyle, the Champion Golfer from 1985, got the 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie underway with a sweetly struck iron down the middle of the baked fairway.

On a clam morning, Lyle was one of a number of players to take advantage of the perfect scoring conditions, making birdies at the fourth and sixth, before coming unstuck on the back nine.

Sandy Lyle Gets 147th Open Championship Underway

Sandy Lyle in action on the 3rd at the 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie [Getty Images]

But, playing alongside Martin Kaymer and Andy Sullivan, Lyle was given a warm reception as he made his way onto the tee shortly before 6.30am.

It was 23 years ago when the Scot edged American Payne Stewart by a single stroke to take the Claret Jug at Royal St George’s.

The 1988 Masters champion may be a big outsider to add to his two Majors this week, and Carnoustie may even represent his farewell to golf’s oldest Major – after turning 60 in February his exemption is in his final year.

Open farewell? Sandy Lyle steps onto the first tee knowing it could be his final Open Championship

Lyle caught the attention with his putter over the opening holes, putting the flatstick, with a u-shaped dip on the shaft, to good effect.

But as he struggled on the back nine, there were a number of other players taking strides towards the top of the leaderboard.

South Africa’s Erik Van Rooyen set the pace, reaching the turn in 33, and there are further signs former Green Jacket winner, Danny Willett, is ready to challenge again after a major slump in form dating back to his triumph at Augusta.

England’s Willett bogeyed the first but picked up three shots in a row from the 4th, before adding another birdie at the 10th.

However, with windier conditions expected for the afternoon starts, Carnoustie is unlikely to remain generous for too long.

The Golf Monthly crew are at Carnoustie all week so check out the Golf Monthly website and the social media channels for all the latest.