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Scottish Open: Jack Senior goes ‘under radar’ to lead as Jon Rahm recovers from ‘ego’ start

Jack Senior
Jack Senior says the putts have started to fly in after a couple of months good play
-7 J Senior (Eng); -6 J Thomas (US), L Westwood (Eng); -5 G Coetzee (SA), T Detry (Ger), M Fitzpatrick (Eng), T Fleetwood (Eng), D Horsey (Eng); I Poulter (Eng), A Quiros (Spa), J Rahm (Spa), R Palmer (US).
Selected others: -4 O Farr (Wal), G Forrest (Sco), P Harrington (Ire), D Law (Sco), R Ramsay (Sco), C Syme (Sco); -3 R MacIntyre (Sco), J Scrivener (Aus); -2 T Hatton (Eng), W Zalatoris (US); -1 T Bjorn (Den), R McIlroy (NI), C Morikawa (US); E G Migliozzi (Ita)

Englishman Jack Senior was delighted to arrive “under the radar” to lead the Scottish Open after the first round.

The 32-year-old is one ahead of compatriot Lee Westwood and United States’ Justin Thomas, with US Open champion Jon Rahm one further back.

Senior only secured his European Tour card two years ago and is 353rd in the world.

“I am a bit under the radar with 25 of the top 50 in the world playing here,” he told BBC Scotland.

“But, at the end of the day, you’re just playing against the golf course. It was just one of those days where I played great – my game has been there or thereabouts for something like two or three months, but today I holed the putts.”

In contrast to the Englishman, who shot a seven-under-par 64, Rahm admitted that the opening introduction to his first start since winning at Torrey Pines last month went to his head as he carved his opening drive way off target at the Rennaisance Club in North Berwick.

Playing partners Rory McIlroy and world number three Thomas were given far more understated introductions and the Spaniard said: “I think I might have missed that first tee shot because I’m there with Rory, great player, JT, great player, and I get announced as world number one, Race to Dubai leader and US Open champion.

“My ego might have got a little too big, tried to hit a little too hard. I didn’t have my best feel out there, but after the first tee shot, which was probably about as bad a tee shot as I can hit, feeling-wise, I just told myself really trust the visualisation process, see the shot, trust the shot and trust that your body can do it – and it really worked out.”

‘Good day for scoring and local knowledge’

Justin Thomas, Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm
Rory McIlroy (centre) could only manage one under par in the company of Justin Thomas and Jon Rahm

Westwood, who previously won the title at Loch Lomond in 1998, admitted he took advantage of local knowledge, having practised at the Renaissance Club in the week before finishing 13th in last year’s US Open and having lived in Edinburgh.

“Today is not typical of golf here,” he said. “It was pretty much hit it, find it, hit it again – you didn’t have to use your brain too much or get creative. It was a good day for scoring.”

Englishman Tommy Fleetwood, who shot a 66 after officially being selected to represent Team GB in the Tokyo Olympics earlier this week, hopes that enjoying the course, having finished runner-up last year, will help end a period “where I’ve not had the best results”.

Four home hopes are in a group of players one stroke further back – Grant Forrest, David Law, Richie Ramsay and Connor Syme.

Article courtesy of BBC Sport
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