CARNOUSTIE, Scotland — Rod Pampling shot a one-under-par 70 in the first round of the 136th British Open on Thursday, back on the first page of the leaderboard eight years after his dubious, record-setting achievement here in 1999. After shooting a 71 to take the first-round lead that year, "Pamps" imploded with an 86 to miss the cut, the first time the first-round leader had failed to qualify for the weekend in the Open.
"Not today," he said when asked if the Friday massacre of '99 had occurred to him. "I guess it's supposed to cross my mind tomorrow, but it hasn't. I'm not too worried about that."
Starting in some of the worst of the morning rain at 7:25 a.m., Pampling birdied the 3rd, 6th and 13th holes, and bogeyed the 12th and 18th, a par 4 that's playing more like a par 5.
"I shed a few layers after nine," he said, "and it was at least enjoyable out there. The golf course is very firm considering the amount of rain we got. There are still some bounces out there. You've got to be careful."
Pampling comes into the Open without much momentum after finishing T19 at the AT&T National at Congressional two weeks ago. He notched his best finish of the year, a T3, at the Memorial, but he missed the cut in two of his next three starts. Still, something about Carnoustie appeals to him.
"It's been good to me the first round," he said. Round two awaits at 12:36 p.m. Friday.