The Open 2011: Dyson & Willett off to good start

The 140th Open Championship

Venue:
Royal St George's, Sandwich, Kent
Dates:
14-17 July
Coverage:
Live on BBC TV, HD, Red Button, online (UK only) and Radio 5 live; text commentary on BBC Sport website (#bbcgolf) and mobiles; watch again on iPlayer
Simon Dyson and Danny Willett
Dyson (left) and Willett both have later starts on Friday

Yorkshire duo Simon Dyson and Danny Willett both made a bright early morning start at the 140th Open Championship at Royal St George's.

York's Dyson dropped just one shot, at the very last hole, to card a solid two-under 68.

And, on his Open Championship debut, Willett made light of being out in the first group at 0630 BST, firing three birdies in a steady one-under 69.

"I drove it well all round and that's the key round here," he told BBC Sport.

Willett made his first birdie of the day at the par-five seventh, dropped one at the ninth, then got it back at the next.

And, although he bogeyed 13, he got his final birdie of the round at the 496-yard par four 15th - and a long putt for par at 18 ensured that he completed his round in red figures.

Having started on Thursday with a 0400 alarm call, Willett now faces a more hospitable late morning tee-off time on Friday, when he goes out for his second round at 1131 BST.

"I've got my mum and dad coming down by then," he said. "I don't think my dad fancied the early morning start.

"But I've just got try and do the dame again as we pretty much stuck to our game plan .

"I've not been nervous all week, although it's a bit different though when you finally get on the first tee and they announce your name.

"But I played pretty well and the same again tomorrow will do me."

As for Dyson, who was playing alongside first-round leader Thomas Bjorn, his final hole bogey was a painful blow after he had gone to second place on his own on three under after birdies at the short sixth, 15 and then again at 17.

"I thought I'd hit a good drive," he said. "But the wind just took it sideways and it caught the bunker. But, at the end of it, I was pleased to get away with a bogey.

"But I putted really good. I got the pace right on them today, on greens where you can easily three-putt."

World No 74 Dyson, playing his eighth Open, could have been out sunning himself in Spain with his family this week, having suffered in recent weeks with a problem in his lower back.

But, instead, he is getting physiotherapy in windswept Sandwich, and going to bed with a "hot water bottle tucked up against my right glute, which seems to loosen it up nicely."

Dyson resumes in the second round alongside the pace-setting Bjorn and American Gary Woodland on Friday at 1226 BST.

Top Stories