PORTRUSH, Northern Ireland — Doc Redman, who could be on the brink of his senior year at Clemson, but decided to turn professional in June of 2018, fired an even par 71 in the first round of The Open Championship on Thursday afternoon to lead three former Tigers at the 148th playing of the tournament. The four-day 72-hole tournament is being played at Royal Portrush Golf Course in Portrush, Northern Ireland. It is the first time the tournament has been held at this venue since 1951.
In addition to Redman’s even par round, former Tiger All-American and 2009 US Open Champion Lucas Glover had a one over par 73 and former All-American Kyle Stanley had a four over par 75.
This is just the third time in history that three former Clemson players have participated in the Open Championship, the first time since 2012.
Redman stands in 42nd place after his opening round performance. It was a remarkable turnaround for the former Tiger who significantly helped the Tigers to a number-15 final national ranking in the spring of 2018.
The native of Raleigh started with a double bogey on the first hole, then made bogey on the third to finish the first three holes at three-over par. Redman then came back with birdies on the fourth, seventh and 10th holes to reach even par. He than made a par on each of the final eight holes.
The birdie on the fourth hole was the big key as Redman hit his drive into some deep rough. But he got an eight iron on the ball and knocked it on the green to within 35 feet. He then made the putt for a birdie. His birdie on the seventh hole was from 21 feet and he made a six-footer for birdie on the 10th hole.
The 18th hole is playing at 473 yards and is among the longest finishing holes in Major Championship history for a par four. Redman drove the ball in the rough but hit a great second shot to just off the green. He two putted from 25 feet to finish at even par.
“Doc’s round today showed great heart and maturity,” said Clemson Associated Head Coach, who is in Portrush to watch Redman.
Glover was solid in many ways as he drove the ball in the fairway 71.4 percent of the time and had just 27 putts. He made birdies on the second and 11th holes and had bogeys on three, 11 and 18. He made the bogey on the last hole after driving the ball in the middle of the fairway. His second shot hit the side of the green and rolled into a collection area. He then hit his chip to eight feet and missed the putt..
A key to Glover staying in contention to make the 36-hole cut a possibility was his ability to get up and down. He hit just 44 percent of his greens in regulation, but did convert a number of times for par. He entered the tournament third on the PGA Tour in scrambling.
Kyle Stanley is the third former Tiger in the field and he had an opening round 75, four over par. The native of Bar Harbor, Washington got off to a good start and was one under par through five holes. But he had a double bogey on the difficult par three sixth hole and was at 38 for the first nine holes.
Redman ranks 42nd on the results list , whole Glover is tied for 54th and Stanley is tied for 113th entering the second round on Friday.
Play continues tomorrow with Glover beginning at 9:15 am, Redman at 10:31 am and Kyle Stanley at 1:37 pm.
There will be television coverage on the Golf Channel from 6:30 a.m. until 9 p.m.