Finishing last for greens hit in regulation (seven of 18) had silver lining for Pádraig Harrington — nobody had fewer putts.
The two time winner's tally of 24 swishes of the blade beat Paul Lawrie by one with Retief Goosen, Jason Day and Kevin Na tied third with 26 putts
At the other end of the scale. Scott Hend, Jonas Blixt, Daniel Brooks, Rob Pampling, amateur Ben Taylor and Nic Faldo had 36 with Wenchong Liang, who played alongside Harrington, taking 38.
No heaven 17
Graeme McDowell had a bad day on the greens but he was delighted to make four at the 17th.
After hearing the Shane Lowry had made a quadruple bogey eight there, McDowell said: “The 17th has been very unkind to me over the years.
“A four there today was about 1.8 shots below my scoring average at 17 so I was pretty happy with that.”
McDowell had two sixes on the 17th over the weekend in 2010 and a quadruple bogey eight there in the third round when contending in 2005.
Lawrie inspired by Arnie
Paul Lawrie roared into the mix with a 66 and confessed that Arnold Palmer was an inspiration.
“It was unbelievably cool to play with him yesterday,” the 1999 champion said of the Champion Golfers’ Challenge alongside the King, Darren Clarke and Bill Rogers.
“Just to be out there playing with him, I absolutely loved it. Clarke and had a whale of a time.”
Tom Watson spooked by masks (of himself)
Tom Watson is playing in his final Open but even the Kansas legend reckons he’s not as wrinkled as the Tom Watson masks he saw on Thursday.
Asked about the fans wearing the masks, 65-year old Watson joked: “Those are ugly masks. I told them there’s way to many wrinkles in those masks.
“It kind of scared me looking at those thing, geez, look at those things. That guy is ugly.”
Goose not cooked yet
Retief Goosen reckons his luck is changing after he opened with a sizzling 66 at St Andrews.
The two-time US Open winner only scraped into the field after playoff at Worburn, where Paul Dunne won the qualifier.
Goosen said: "Maybe there is something good coming. I got lucky in the playoff with all three of us hitting horrible tee shots, and I hit mine out of the rough to 10 feet and they struggled. Maybe it’s something good coming.”
Murder on the links
Lee Westwood bogeyed the last three holes for a 71 then braced himself for today’s rain storms.
He said: Obviously none of us like playing in rain, but I think you want a 15, 20 mile-an-hour wind blowing on this golf course, otherwise the players just murder it basically.”
Stat of the day
According to ESPN, Jordan Spieth and Tiger Woods have played 19 rounds in same tournament this year. Spieth is 110 strokes better.
Big hitter of the day
Dustin Johnson is such a big hitter than he used a wedge on all but three of the St Andrews’ 14 par fours.
The American said two of the holes where he hit more than wedge were playing into the wind but on the other one he was just off green and putted.
Tweet of the day
After 9 hours and 41 minutes, the final group of the day has now teed off. Which means only one thing: Ivor Robson can now use the restroom.— Jason Sobel (@JasonSobelESPN) July 16, 2015
Complaint of the day
“Beyond disappointing to play well today and not hole putts that you expect to,” Ian Poulter tweeted after his 73. “Difficult game when the longest putt holed was 6ft #Gutted.”