It was the best of times. It was the fastest of times.
That’s what Charles Dickens might have written had he been covering today’s Open Championship at Muirfield on the first day.
Facing unusually warm and clear conditions that dried out the course, players were forced to be more exacting than ever as balls ran off fairways and greens in an ever-punishing style, prompting thrown clubs and long grimaces.
A number of familiar names made it to the top of the leaderboard, including last year’s first day leader, a 56-year-old former winner, a long hitter and a lefty (guess who?).
But it was an unknown from India who stole the headlines. Meanwhile, Rory McIlory, Luke Donald and Ernie Els failed to impress.
As the Open unfolds, let’s take a look at the winners and losers in the first day of this glorious saga.