28 Jun 2024 | Professional golf |

Green on top after day one at US Senior Open

by Patrick Taylor

Richard Green waves to fans after sinking a birdie putt on the 18th hole. (Kathryn Riley/USGA)

Richard Green finds himself with a share of the lead at the close of play on day one of the US Senior Open Championship at Newport Country Club.

The Victorian, who finished runner-up at the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship just weeks ago, went bogey-free on day one, carding seven birdies to shoot 63 and grab a share of the lead with Japan’s Hiroyuki Fujita at 7-under.

“Started off very nicely. Felt the preparation this week has been set up really well to play on this golf course,” Green said.

“Today’s round, you know, proved itself. Hit the ball very, very well. A lot of work has been put in and it’s just nice to see to come to fruition.”

Senior golf debutant Mat Goggin is the next best Australian in a tie for fifth after an opening 4-under 66, the Tasmanian carding five birdies on his day and limiting the damage to a single bogey.

Stuart Appleby and Rod Pampling find themselves together in a share of 15th, both recording matching 3-under 67s on day one.

Starting the day with birdies on his two opening holes, Green really got going after the turn, making three birdies on the bounce holes 10 through 12, before almost holing his second on 18, setting up one final birdie.

“Got a good drive down there. Able to get a wedge into the green,” he said of his closing hole.

“Had a good yardage to land it 135 yards in one bounce. The way the crowd reacted, it sounded like it hit the flag. Lucky enough to stop three feet away.”

Green revealed that the Newport layout and conditions play into his favour very well this week, drawing similarities to the Victorian courses he knows so well.

“Where I live in Melbourne, Australia, our conditions are very much the same. There’s not a day in the year where it’s not the blowing 25km/h. Same sort of surface, the coastal environment,” he said.

“I’m actually used to playing in those conditions. I practiced prior to starting my golf on the Champions Tour over here, practicing every day in these sort of conditions, so I’m used to it, I like it. The course suits my eye.

“I’ve had lower scores in my time, but from a feeling of how I feel on this golf course and the way I prepared and practiced and got my game into this shape, as good a round as I’ve ever had.

“Can’t ask for more.”

Full scores.

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