Unknown Jack Senior Sits Atop Star-Laden Leaderboard at Scottish Open

Jack Senior Scottish Open
Jack Senior reacts after missing a putt on the 9th green during day one of the Scottish Open at The Renaissance Club, North Berwick. (Photo by Jane Barlow PA Images via Getty Images)

Jack Senior opened with a bogey-free 64 to secure the day-one lead ahead of a star laden chasing pack at the 2021 abrdn Scottish Open.

The 32-year-old Englishman, who owns just two career top-10 finishes on the European Tour, produced an immaculate scorecard comprised of eight birdies and 10 pars to sit atop the marquee on 7-under par.

Despite never having won on the European Tour or PGA Tour, and holding a word ranking of No. 353, Senior sounded confident.

“I’ve won at every single level I’ve played at,” said Senior, who in 12 professional seasons has won just twice (2018 and 2015), both coming on the Challenge Tour.

“I think that’s something that I’ve always been good at.

“I can get across the line and I feel comfortable when I’m at the top of the leaderboard. I don’t shy away from the top of the leaderboard and when I’m out in front, I don’t tend to back away.

“I tend to try to keep the foot on the pedal and I’m going to have to do that this week because there’s going to be very little wind over the next three days and you’re going to have to keep hitting good shots and keep rolling the putts in.

“It’s a great field but, at the end of the day, you’re still out there playing the golf course. Doesn’t matter how good the field is or anything like that. All you can do is control what you’re doing and try and do your best on the golf course and not particularly worried about the field.

“I mean, if you consistently hit golf shots out there and try to perform to the best of your ability, I’m sure that might stand me in good stead.”

Justin Thomas, Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm
Justin Thomas, Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm on the 12th green during day one of the Scottish Open at The Renaissance Club, North Berwick. (Photo by Jane Barlow PA Images via Getty Images)

Just one shot off the pace were two players who’ve won a lot: 48-year old Lee Westwood – a 25-time European Tour champion, and 27-year old Justin Thomas, who with 14 career PGA Tour victories is on pace to be one of the winningest in PGA Tour history.

Westwood and Thomas finished with bogey-free 65s.

World No. 1, and reigning U.S. Open champion, Jon Rahm was then at 5-under 66 alongside fellow Spaniard Alvaro Quiros, Belgian Thomas Detry, South African George Coetzee, American Ryan Palmer, and Englishmen Matt Fitzpatrick, Tommy Fleetwood, Ian Poulter, and David Horsey.

American Xander Schauffele and Ryder Cup Captain Padraig Harrington were among a group of 14 players three shots off the lead at 4-under 67.

Four-time major winner Rory McIlroy was six back after a round-one 70, one clear of defending champ Aaron Rai (71) of England.


2021 Scottish Open


Round-1 Leaderboard: Top-10

Pos-Player-To Par (Rd 1)
1. Jack Senior -7 (64)
2. Lee Westwood -6 (65)
2. Justin Thomas -6 (65)
4. Jon Rahm -5 (66)
4. Alvaro Quiros -5 (66)
4. Thomas Detry -5 (66)
4. George Coetzee -5 (66)
4. Ryan Palmer -5 (66)
4. Matt Fitzpatrick -5 (66)
4. Tommy Fleetwood -5 (66)
4. Ian Poulter -5 (66)
4. David Horsey -5 (66)

Notables

Pos-Player-To Par (Rd 1)
13. Xander Schauffele -4 (67)
27. Garrick Higgo -3 (68)
27. Thomas Pieters -3 (68)
45. Will Zalatoris -2 (69)
45. Tyrrell Hatton -2 (69)
45. Nicolas Colsaerts -2 (69)
73. Thomas Bjorn -1 (70)
73. Rory McIlroy -1 (70)
73. John Catlin -1 (70)
73. Billy Horschel -1 (70)
73. Eddie Pepperell -1 (70)
73. Collin Morikawa -1 (70)
96. Aaron Rai E (71)
96. Andy Sullivan E (71)
96. Jimmy Walker E (71)
96. Guido Migliozzi E (71)
113. Scottie Scheffler +1 (72)
113. Henrik Stenson +1 (72)
131. Martin Kaymer +2 (73)
131. Graeme McDowell +2 (73)
131. Francesco Molinari +2 (73)
138. Thorbjorn Olesen +3 (74)
148. Corey Conners +5 (76)


Material from the European Tour Communications was used to compile this report.


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