The 150th Open: Media Conflicted as Rory Shares Day-1 Spotlight With DJ, LIV Golfers

Dustin Johnson The 2022 OPEN Championship
Dustin Johnson tees off the 16th hole during Day 1 of The 150th Open at St Andrews Old Course on July 14, 2022 in St Andrews, Scotland. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox via Getty Images)

In the R&A offices at St Andrews and across the pond down at Ponte Vedra Beach, and everywhere in between, golf’s self-appointed gatekeepers were popping champagne and wiping themselves down after their defacto spokesman Rory McIlroy opened with a 66 to sit two shots off the pace after day one of the British Open Championship.

Propaganda headlines such as “Rory McIlroy has spoken up, and at The Open, his game is doing the talking, too” permeated the web.

Media smugness flooded social channels.

The chest pounding was off the charts.

Rory McIlroy The 2022 OPEN Championship
Rory McIlroy talks with caddie during Day 1e of The 150th Open at St Andrews Old Course on July 14, 2022 in St Andrews, Scotland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird via Getty Images)

But then Talor Gooch, who was supposed to be the butt of Justin Thomasjokes, closed with birdies on 17 and 18 to reach -4. He sat alongside fellow LIV golfer Lee Westwood near the top of the big yellow boards at St Andrews.


Then longtime world No. 1 Dustin Johnson birdied the 18th hole to join Gooch and Westwood at -4, one clear of 2020 U.S. Open champion Bryson DeChambeau, Englishman Ian Poulter and South African Scott Vincent.

Big gulp!

Paul Casey, Abraham Ancer and Louis Oosthuizen remained in the chase on 1 under, with Patrick Reed, Phil Mickelson, Kevin Na and Laurie Canter were deadlocked on even-par 72.

The smug media suddenly became silent.


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