Watson's 65 was the highlight, but plenty finished at 66, too

Watson’s 65 was the highlight, but plenty finished at 66, too

TURNBERRY, Scotland — Tom Watson’s first-round 65 was the big morning story, leaving those who shot 66 feeling like wallflowers at the Elks Club summer dance.  Camilo Villegas, playing in his second Open Championship, had to settle for a greenside interview. “I’ve learned you’ve got to be patient,” the muscular Colombian said, reading from the Official Major Championship Script. “You’ve got to realize you don’t have to play pretty golf, you just have to hang in there.”The only way to play pretty golf this week, he didn’t have to add, is by staying out of Turnberry’s thick rough.Another morning 66 belonged to American Steve Stricker, who was still enjoying the afterglow of his Sunday-past victory at the John Deere Classic. “I feel good about my game,” Stricker said after his 6-birdie performance. “The only uncertainty was the emotional hangover from victory last week. And the jet lag. I kissed my wife and kids goodbye, and I was on the plane and I was here. It was almost like last week didn’t happen.”Next to pull off Route 66 was five-time PGA Tour winner Stewart Cink, who said that the soft conditions partly — but only partly — explained why a 59-year-old was leading the tournament. “The weather is allowing some of the guys who may not be as long anymore to attack the holes. And the golf course is set up where there’s a lot of guys that have a lot of power that are laying back on some holes because of the bunkers on both sides.” Cink added that Watson is “one of the best ballstrikers of all time. He knows the way around here, and I’m not surprised to see him up there.”The only 66-shooter to get the full press-room treatment — because he finished before Watson — was Australia’s John Senden. Naturally, he was asked to weigh in on the Ashes, the historically portentous cricket series between England and Australia, which currently stands even after an overmatched English side salvaged a draw in the first test. “We always hope that the Aussies kick a little butt over here,” Senden admitted. “With the second test starting in Lord’s today, I think I’ll get to watch a little bit on TV.”Finally, we had a morning 66 from 35-year-old Matthew Goggin, who hails from Tasmania and resides in Scottsdale, Ariz. Goggin finished with birdies at 17 and 18, leaving him somewhat giddy. “You couldn’t get a much better day to play golf than this,” he gushed. “You don’t expect to be standing on the water there, and it looks more like a lake than it does the sea. It’s so calm. Stunning.”Goggin summed up: “That was the highlight of the week so far. It was such a pretty day.”He obviously hadn’t heard about Watson’s round.