David Howell kicks off 143rd Open Championship at sunny Hoylake


Englishman David Howell was given the honour of opening the 143rd Open Championship today (Thursday), with the 39-year-old hitting the first tee shot at 6.25am in the glorious Hoylake sunshine.

The conditions for play were calm, but Howell still found the right rough and had to lay up short of the green which resulted in a bogey five.

Howell was flanked by former Open Championship winner David Duval, who also missed the fairway on the opposite side and could only hack out 40 yards before advancing it onto the green and holing his putt for par.

Swedish golfer Robert Karlsson had a more regulation four, splitting the fairway with a nice tee shot and two-putting from 15 feet.

Another Englishman out enjoying the early stages of The Open and the sunshine was Chris Wood, who finished fifth at Royal Birkdale in 2008 to capture the Silver Medal for top amateur and was one shot off a play-off spot for the Claret Jug at Turnberry the following year as a professional, was the first player to make an impact with a wonderful birdie at the opening 458-yard hole.