British Open Leaderboard 2018: Friday Score Updates and Tournament Predictions

Gill Clark@@gillclarkyFeatured Columnist IJuly 20, 2018

TOPSHOT - US golfer Kevin Kisner plays out of a green-side bunker on the 18th hole during his first round 66 on day one of The 147th Open golf Championship at Carnoustie, Scotland on July 19, 2018. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP)        (Photo credit should read PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images)
PAUL ELLIS/Getty Images

America's Kevin Kisner leads the way at the 2018 British Open after shooting an opening round of 66 on Thursday to leave him five-under par at Carnoustie Golf Links in Angus, Scotland.

Erik van Rooyen, Tony Finau and Zander Lombard are all one shot further back, while Brandon Stone, Ryan Moore and Brendan Steele are all on three under.

Three-time champion Tiger Woods made his first appearance at the British Open since 2015 but had to settle for an even-par 71.

World No. 1 Dustin Johnson had a tough first day as he finished five over par, as did defending champion Jordan Spieth who had to settle for a one-over 72.

Sky Sports Golf shared the leaderboard after the first round:

Sky Sports Golf @SkySportsGolf

Kevin Kisner finished around seven hours ago but he will end the day top of the pile. Follow live coverage from the opening round of the 147th Open at Carnoustie on Sky Sports The Open here: https://t.co/uMu44pHMwv #TheOpen https://t.co/1ielXiSF4C


Tournament Predictions

Kisner is the surprise leader of the The Open after a brilliant performance on Thursday. The American secured an eagle and four birdies to lead the way.

The Golf Channel showed his chances of going on to win the tournament:

Golf Channel @GolfChannel

Kevin Kisner's 5-under 66 is good enough for a one-shot opening-round lead at #TheOpen. https://t.co/Br9wlG57OZ

It is easily Kisner's best round at a British Open, and the question now will be whether he can maintain the form he has shown and keep his nerve as the pressure mounts.

The big names will hope to have a say but most have work to do going into the second round. Rory McIlroy is well-placed after carding a 69 to leave him two-under.

The Northern Irishman won the tournament in 2014 but has not claimed a major for five years which may explain his aggressive approach on Thursday.

The Golf Channel's Justin Ray explained what may help McIlroy:

Justin Ray @JustinRayGC

The lower the scores, the better for Rory. McIlroy has never won an official event worldwide with a score worse than 12-under.

Jon Rahm is also three shots off the lead after a solid start on Thursday. Sky Sports Golf showed him in action:

Sky Sports Golf @SkySportsGolf

BOOM! 💣 Jon Rahm pulls out his driver and rolls it within 12-feet! 😱 He can't convert for Eagle but putts for Birdie to move one under! Follow live coverage from the opening round of the 147th Open at Carnoustie on Sky Sports The Open here: https://t.co/uMu44pHMwv #TheOpen https://t.co/vjlN78Bb8T

The Spaniard got off to a flying start with three birdies over the first six holes, and although he dropped shots at the fourth and 10th holes, he made few other errors.

Journalist Nick Metcalfe explained why Rahm could thrive at Carnoustie in the dry conditions:

Nick Metcalfe @Nick_Metcalfe

Stayed on the par four third to see Jon Rahm and Rickie Fowler. Rahm drives the green. Fowler holes a monster putt for birdie. Tremendous golf. Big hitters will hope to make hay while the sun shines here. #TheOpen

Woods also remains in contention and made the perfect start with a birdie at the first. His round looked promising when he moved to two under but faded towards the end.

Dropped shots on the back nine proved costly, and he had to work hard to maintain par over the final few holes.

Jason Sobel offered some context on his round:

Jason Sobel @JasonSobelTAN

Tiger Woods opens with even-par 71. His second-best score in a major championship round this year, behind only a final-round 69 at the Masters. Baby steps.

It was a solid start from the American, but he'll need to improve on that on Friday if he is to seriously challenge for the Claret Jug.