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Australians struggling at British Open

NZN 14/07/2016 Darren Walton

Australia's golf stars were struggling to stay in touch with the pacesetters during the first round of the British Open at Royal Troon.

Rio Olympian Marcus Fraser posted the best of the early rounds, but was still gutted to have signed off for a one-over-par 72.

Fraser collapsed after shooting three under on the front nine.

"I played awful on the back nine - I pretty much had no idea what was going to come out," he said.

"I've been pretty ordinary in practice this week and got my hopes up a little with my first nine holes and then it turned to absolute rubbish on the back nine.

"It's just annoying because I thought I was starting to see some signs but all of a sudden it just went pear shaped."

Marc Leishman, runner-up last year at St Andrews, also wasted a fine start to card a three-over 74, while Steven Bowditch's horror season continued with a 79.

Leishman lamented two sloppy double-bogeys and a poor day on the greens, but was remaining upbeat.

"A good round tomorrow and you can make up a lot of ground," he said.

Bowditch, who briefly led on moving day last year, is well on the way to missing the halfway cut for the eighth time in a dozen starts after racking up a quintuple-bogey nine on the brutal par-4 11th.

It wasn't all gloomy for Australia, though, with Matt Jones and Scot Hend both in red figures early in their rounds.

World No.1 Jason Day reached the turn in one over and still had the the treacherous back nine to contend with.

Adam Scott, desperate to get his hands on the elusive Claret Jug after four painful near misses in the past four years, tees off just before midnight (AEST).

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