Injured Day off to slow start at British Open

14:02, Jul 18 2013
Zach Johnson
Early first round leader Zach Johnson went five-under on the front nine.
Ian Poulter
Ian Poulter tries to use body English to move a putt during his first round.
Ian Poulter and Billy Horschel
Making a loud statement with their pants, Ian Poulter (left) and Billy Horschel.
Miguel Angel Jimenez
Miguel Angel Jimenez plays out of the bunker on the 18th hole.
David Lynn
English man David Lynn plays his second shot on the 11th hole.
Rafael Cabrera-Bello
Spaniard Rafael Cabrera-Bello was the early clubhouse leader at four-under.
Rory McIlroy
Rory McIlroy
Jason Day
Jason Day ponders a putting line on the second hole.
Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods lines up a putt early in his first round at Muirfield.
Shiv Kapur
India's Shiv Kapur rose briefly to the lead during the first round.
Louis Oosthuizen
Louis Oosthuizen is taken from the course on a golf cart after withdrawing.
British Open at Muirfield
A view of the 13th hole at the Muirfield course.
Lee Westwood
Lee Westwood shakes hands with Charl Schwartzel after the completion of their second round.
Charl Schwartzel
Charl Schwartzel plays from the bunker near the 16th green.
Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods reacts after missing a birdie putt on the ninth hole in the second round.
Ryan Moore
Ryan Moore tees off on the par-three 16th hole.
DA Points
DA Points hacks out of the long grass as a freighter sails by behind him.
Sergio Garcia
Sergio Garcia adjusts his cap after finishing his second round.
Nick Faldo
Nick Faldo hugs his caddie and son Matthew in what could be his last British Open round.
Rory McIlroy
Rory McIlroy waves at the crowd after rolling in a putt in his second round.
Miguel Angel Jimenez
Miguel Angel Jimenez lines up a putt during his second round.
Rafael Cabrera-Bello
Rafael Cabrera-Bello plays from off the fairway in front of a sombrero-wearing spectator.
British Open Golf
Lee Westwood reacts after making a birdie putt on the 17th hole.
British Open Golf
Tiger Woods reacts after a wayward shot on the 15th during his third round.
British Open Golf
Angel Cabrera reacts after missing his par putt on the 18th.
British Open Golf
Adam Scott enjoys the fine weather as he walks along the 18th fairway.
2013 British Open
Phil Mickelson celebrates a birdie putt on the 18th hole.
2013 British Open
Lee Westwood was unable to build on his early form and claim his first Major win.
2013 British Open
Tiger Woods shakes hands with his former caddie Steve Williams, who now works with Adam Scott.
2013 British Open
Adam Scott was unable to build on early promise and win his second Major.

Jason Day pushed through the pain barrier but was left to rue a British Open first round book-ended by double bogeys at Muirfield today.

The Australian, chasing his first major after a frustrating run of near misses, revealed after carding a two-over-par 73 he was still battling a troublesome wrist injury suffered at last month's US Open.

Day said he felt pain throughout the round but was not using it as an excuse, instead frustrated by silly mistakes at the beginning and end of an otherwise good round.

It left the three-time major championships runner-up well off the early pace, being set by American Zach Johnson midway through a first round being played in good conditions on a firm, golden-brown course.

Day joined a host of others in stumbling at the first hurdle on the testing par 4 first.

He recovered with three birdies but another dropped two shots on the final hole, including missing a five-foot putt.

"Overall I'm pretty happy with how I went just the start and finish were just terrible," said the 25-year-old.

"It's a little disappointing with how I finished but there's still three days left.

"The wind's going to change to an easterly and I think that's going to toughen up the course but right now I've just got to be patient and just chip away at it."

Day took pain relief to deal with his injury but said he would be able to push on.

"It's not like I broke my back or anything so it's fine," Day said.

Day was one of three of the Australian early starters to open with a double bogey, with John Senden and Peter Senior making similarly disastrous starts.

Despite having less than an hour sleep before leading out the field, jet-lagged 53-year-old Senior fought solidly well to card a 74 but Senden's score blew out to 77.

The opening hole claimed several other early victims with Scot Lloyd Saltman, who played in the first group of the day alongside Senior, making quadruple bogey.

"It's a tough fairway to hit so a lot of guys will be in the right hand rough then you've got dodge the bunkers at the front there so there's all sorts of those things," said Senior, who dropped his shots with the putter.

"It all depends on your lie. If you hit there fairway, it's not that difficult."

Others negotiated past the deep bunkers and thick rough more comfortably, including cigar-smoking Spaniard Miguel Angel Jimenez who raced to five under through nine holes before dropping two shots on the back nine to card a 68.

Johnson swept to the lead with a brilliant front nine that featured three birdies and an eagle on the par-five fifth but world No 2 Rory McIlroy was struggling badly at six over par late in his first round.

Adam Scott, who let a four-shot lead slip to finish second to Ernie Els last year, was among the afternoon starters along with tournament favourite Tiger Woods.

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Jason Day
TOUGH DAY: A wrist injury impacted Australian Jason Day in the first round of the British Open, shooting a two-over par 73.

AAP