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Spieth copes best in grim conditions to lead British Open

“Kooch is tough because he’s so consistent”, Spieth said.”So, yeah”, he said, “I mean I’m ready to go out there toe-to-toe with anyone this weekend”. His only bogey on what he describes as his favorite course on the Open rotation came at the par-3 No. 7 after landing his ball near the lip of a bunker. You’ve just got to hit a golf ball, that’s all you have to do. But then you’ve got to play and make a score.He will go out with Kuchar, with the 39-year-old, who has never won a major, building on his opening 65 that had him in a share of the lead with a solid 71 earlier in the day. The strut and swagger is back for a player known best for his Ryder Cup exploits with the European team.The 146th British Open at Royal Birkdale, which started Thursday on England’s northwest coast, promises to be one of the most open Opens in years. However, the bookmaker was asserting that the three Tour victories by the player did not count as they were not “The Open“.Home favourite Ian Poulter shot 70 to stay at three under.The past seven majors have been won by first-time winners, although Royal Birkdale has a quirky habit of rewarding former champions and consecutive winners. “I haven’t played a major for a little while”, he said. I’m loving it. I really am.Spieth didn’t make a bogey all day as he began the chase for his first British Open title.The downwind 17th, one of just two par fives on the course, unsurprisingly proved the easiest with a scoring average of 4.542 thanks to nine eagles and 68 birdies.Royal Birkdale, which borders the Irish Sea north of Liverpool, is known as one of the world’s great links courses, possibly the “best” course on the Open rotation, according to McIlroy. Jordan Spieth and Brooks Koepka both recorded 5-under par 65s, Spieth not dropping a single shot during some hard early conditions and Koepka joining him atop the leaderboard with an eagle at the par-5 17th.”Walking up 18, just walking from greens to tees, was really pretty special today”, Poulter said.He tees off at 3.30pm tomorrow.”Yes, I’m watching the tennis, but I’m watching him more than anything, and seeing what I can pick up”.That charge lost its momentum slightly when his touch deserted him for the first time on 13.The key to his round came in the middle, starting with a 10-foot par putt on No. 8 after he drove into a pot bunker.It was then that the wind picked up and McIlroy started to lose control of his ball in the hard crosswinds.For McIlroy, it could have been far worse as his all-round game deserted him from the off, and he did well to limit the damage to a bogey at the opening hole before he dropped four strokes in a row from the third.”To be under par for this championship after the way I started, I’m ecstatic with that”, he said afterwards. Mark O’Meara, a victor at Royal Birkdale in 1998 who is playing in his last British Open, hit the opening tee shot. So, yeah, there was a lot of quality out there and I was happy to see that. At one point on the 12th hole Saturday I had 129 yards to the pin and hit a six-iron in and thought to myself, “I am glad I’m over here, glad I’m doing this”.