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Lee makes disastrous start at Open

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 14/07/2016

New Zealand's Danny Lee has made a hapless start to the Open Championship in Scotland, shooting a bogey-laden 78 to sit four spots above last place.

A disastrous back nine at Royal Troon featured five bogeys and a triple bogey at the par-4 11th as world No.40 Lee slumped to seven-over and a share of 150th.

The US-based Kiwi showed no sign of the problems to follow as he went to the turn at one-under, with three birdies on the front nine atoning for a double bogey on the second hole.

He faces a sizeable challenge to make Friday's cut, having missed the cut in three of his six major appearances, including at his Open Championship debut last year.

Lee came into the tournament in promising form, having finished third at last week's Scottish Open, also on a links course.

Compatriot Steven Alker, who was also among the early groups away, struggled in his fourth appearance at the Open Championship, shooting a two-over 73 to share 96th. The 44-year-old carded three bogeys and one birdie.

American leader Phil Mickelsen was the class act on day one, opening a three-shot lead on eight-under. The five-time major winner notched eight birdies in a spectacular round of 63.

Mickelsen equalled the lowest score in major championship history and would have beaten it if his birdie putt didn't lip out on the 18th hole.

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