Goosen has last laugh after opening gaffe

Retief Goosen is not in the habit of reducing galleries to giggling fits, but when he topped his first shot of the morning and it proceeded to trundle off the tee-box and hop up the fairway like an embarrassed duck the muffles barely concealed the laughter. But if ever the first act was unfaithful to the conclusion, it was this drive.

The South African proceeded to middle every drive, flush every iron, radar every putt. In fact, after a 63 for an 11-under total the only thing being topped was this Barclays Scottish Open leaderboard. One of the principal cruelties with golf is they only remember the hysterical shots – and that even applied to his partners. Despite Goosen recovering to make a par, Geoff Ogilvy and Oliver Wilson continued to see the funny side.

"They kept quiet but I'm sure they were laughing," said Goosen who explained how in trying to hit a low three-wood it ended up travelling a full 180 yards. "I did joke with them a few holes later when I hit a good one, 'I had a much better lie on that tee'."

By then Goosen was off and marching, firing seven birdies, an eagle and just the solitary bogey. At one stage he had the course record of 62 in his sights – held by one Retief Goosen. "Yeah, I've actually shot 62 around here twice, although once was with preferred lies. You could say I like it here. I'm not the straightest hitter and this course is fairly generous off the tee."

In contrast, Turnberry is fairly miserly off the tee, a fact that plainly has Goosen worried. "I hear the rough is very deep," said Goosen, who with five top 10s in the last 10 Opens has a fine record in the British major. "By the sounds of it, it's probably going to be a US Open and not an Open. Hopefully they might cut the rough a little bit."

As hopes go, that is in the "you are dreaming" variety and Goosen is better advised to concentrate his positive energies on this challenge. Since being a member of the so-called "Big Five" a few years go, the double major-winner has fallen to 25 in the world rankings. But Goosen has made something of a resurgence since passing his 40th earlier in the year and is ready to repeat his Scottish Open success of 2001. "My putting is not as consistent as it was in those days but they all went in today," he said

Another former world No 3, Adam Scott, remains in close pursuit, two behind on nine-under after a 67, while last week's winner Martin Kaymer, makes it a high-quality scoreboard on eight-under. There are some lively British contenders a little further down the standings, not least Ross Fisher on six-under after a 67.

Alas, Colin Montgomerie did not feel in contention, despite finishing with four birdies in his last four holes. On level par after a courageous 69, the big Scot was flirting with the cut mark. "I'm not playing very well at all," he said. "OK, I birdied the last four, but you should do. It's not difficult out there at all but I made it difficult. I played awful yesterday and not much better today."

What made it all the more miserable for the 46-year-old was that he believed he had turned around a year-long hell in which he has failed to record a single top 10.

"The game was solid last week in France but it's just gone back to where it's been in the last 12 months or so," said Monty. "When am I going to turn up at Turnberry? I'll turn up on Thursday and just give it a rock. That might be the answer."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk