Golf-Young plays it cool after taming the Old Course


  • Golf
  • Thursday, 14 Jul 2022

Golf - The 150th Open Championship - Old Course, St Andrews, Scotland, Britain - July 14, 2022 Cameron Young of the U.S. tees off on the 18th during the first round REUTERS/Russell Cheyne

ST ANDREWS, Scotland (Reuters) - American Cameron Young was trying to keep his feet firmly on the ground after shooting a flawless first-round 64 to set the pace in the British Open at St Andrews on Thursday.

The 25-year-old world number 32 mastered the Old Course, picking up eight birdies to finish three shots clear of the field midway through the opening day.

Young, however, was keeping his emotions firmly in check.

"I think it's a pretty accurate representation of how I feel," he told a news conference when it was suggested that he did not look overly excited.

"I'm happy I shot 64. I'm happy that, as far as I know, I'm still leading The Open Championship, but it's not going to change how I feel an hour from now."

Young was ranked outside the world's top 500 in April, 2021 but has enjoyed a consistent season with five top-10 finishes on the PGA Tour.

Three early birdies gave Young momentum and he moved to seven under par after 12 holes.

He also missed two birdie putts from inside eight feet on the back nine which could have seen him threatening the lowest ever round at a major championship, South African Branden Grace's 62 in the 2017 British Open at Royal Birkdale.

"We worked our way around the golf course really well," he said. "I don't think that I played a perfect round of golf. I just kind of scored really well."

Young played the Old Course at St Andrews as a 13-year-old boy when his parents brought him to Scotland on holiday.

"Any time you set foot on the first tee or 18th green or anywhere, especially on that part of the course, there's just no hiding how special a place it is," he said.

"And it's certainly been a goal to get to an Open Championship. And for my first one to be here is a little bit extra special for me."

His experience did not help at last week's Scottish Open as he failed to make the cut after rounds of 76 and 77.

"Last week was hard," he said. "You're jet-lagged. We played in some pretty difficult conditions. I didn't feel like I played horrible. I just scored really poorly."

Young led last month's Memorial Tournament after the first round before finishing in a tie for 60th place.

"Any time you're around the lead in a major championship or any PGA Tour event, frankly, you get more and more comfortable every time," he said.

"Whether I'm leading by three or one or four back after today, I'll sleep just fine. We'll just take tomorrow as it comes."

(Reporting by Ed Osmond; Editing by Toby Davis)

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