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Tommy Fleetwood, Christo Lamprecht share early lead at The Open

Englishman Tommy Fleetwood and South African amateur Christo Lamprecht shared the early lead at The 151st Open Championship at 5-under 66 Thursday morning at Royal Liverpool Golf Club in Hoylake, England.

Lamprecht, a 22-year-old senior at Georgia Tech, won the Amateur Championship last month not far from Liverpool to qualify for the Open. He set the early pace Thursday with a round that featured seven birdies, including a chip-in from the fairway at the par-4 14th.

Fleetwood, a home-crowd favorite who grew up about 30 miles away from the course, sank three straight birdies at Nos. 14-16, punctuated by a 26-footer at the 16th, to post a 4-under 32 on the back nine and tie Lamprecht. “It was very cool and it was very special, just the support from the get-go. So lucky to be able to experience and I’m so grateful for it,” Fleetwood said post-round. They were two shots clear of 50-year-old Stewart Cink and U.S. Open champion Wyndham Clark. Cink shot a bogey-free, 3-under 68 and Clark joined him with four birdies and a bogey, all on the back nine.

Among those tied at 2 under as of 3 p.m. local time were England’s Matthew Jordan, three-time major winner Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler. Jordan, 27, is a member at Royal Liverpool and had the honor of hitting the first tee shot of the championship before completing a round of 69. Spieth matched that despite a double bogey at No. 8 and a bogey at the par-5 18th that counteracted five birdies. “It’s a really good track. You can’t really take any shots off,” Spieth said in a post-match TV interview. “It should be a really exciting Open as conditions continue to get tougher.” Fowler was 2 under through 17 holes.

PGA Championship winner Brooks Koepka birdied three of his final eight holes to manage a 1-under 70. World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler birdied Liverpool’s two late par 5s, Nos. 15 and 18, to sign for a 70 as well. Defending Open champ Cameron Smith of Australia opened with a 1-over 72. Notable players in the afternoon wave include Dustin Johnson, Viktor Hovland of Norway, Tony Finau, Justin Thomas, Collin Morikawa, Phil Mickelson, Jon Rahm of Spain and Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland. –Field Level Media


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