The Open 2018: Sandy Lyle hits bunker trouble after early start at Carnoustie

By Tom EnglishBBC Scotland at Carnoustie
Sandy Lyle acknowledges fans after hitting the opening tee shot of this year's Open
Sandy Lyle acknowledges his reception after hitting the opening tee shot of this year's Open
The 147th Open Championship
Venue: Carnoustie, Scotland Dates: 19-22 July
Coverage: Live across BBC Radio, highlights on BBC TV and online, live text commentaries on BBC website.

The decades may have passed, but Sandy Lyle found the same kind of trouble in his 43rd and, probably final, Open championship on Thursday at Carnoustie as he did in his first, 44 years ago at Lytham.

Lyle struck the opening tee shot at 6.35am - he woke at one o'clock and was alarm-watching pretty much from there on in - and was going along nicely at level par until he reached the 13th hole, which he double bogeyed after finding an horrendous spot in a greenside bunker and then taking three shots to get out it.

That was the way of things at Lytham in 1974 - death by sand for Sandy - and at Carnoustie it was the moment that a nice round started to get away from him. Lyle finished with a four-over-par 75.

"I was nervous last night, not to mind this morning," said Lyle of his task of hitting the first shot. "I was hoping I'd get away with 20 people on the tee, 15 of them probably being part of my family, but it was about 80% full on that hole. It was great. I was very impressed.

"The tee shot went a lot smoother than I thought it would. To be honest, it was a fairly docile first hole with a four-iron and an eight-iron second shot, so that was all pretty good.

"The first bunch of holes were fine. After nine holes, I was happy [he was one under] then I got in a little bit of bunker trouble."

The 13th, a par-three protected by bunkers, is not all that difficult unless you find yourself where Lyle ended up - stuck against the back lip with barely room to get his wedge on the ball.

"I pulled an eight-iron into the bunker up, one foot out and one foot in for the second shot," he said. "I caught the lip of the bunker on the way down and it skidded the club.

"I didn't miss the ball, but I only moved it about three inches, so I had virtually the same shot - then I left it in the bunker.

"That's what can happen. The bunkers are penal and I've been in a few of them."

Lyle has much work to do on Friday to realise his dream of making the cut. His later tee-time will allow for a lie-in at least.

Scots teeing it up at Carnoustie
PlayerAgePrevious OpensBest finish
Russell Knox333T30 (2006)
Sandy Lyle60421st (1985)
Sam Locke (a)190Debut
Scott Jamieson343Missed cut
Grant Forrest251Missed cut