Tighe thrives as Sydney winds flummox Spieth and Co

Thu Nov 26, 2015 3:39am EST
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By Nick Mulvenney

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Unheralded local Lincoln Tighe upstaged a field including world number one Jordan Spieth and a string of major winners after swirling winds wreaked havoc on the opening round of the Australian Open on Thursday.

The big-hitting 26-year-old, so lowly-ranked he was denied a spot in Wednesday's pro-am, carded a five-under-par 66 early in the day and only Matt Jones, a member of the host Australian Golf Club, was able to come close in the afternoon with a 67.

Defending champion Spieth broke even with a 71, which left him with a share of 19th on a day when only 18 players finished below par.

Former U.S. Open champion Geoff Ogilvy coped better with the shifting wind and sweltering heat than most of the more feted golfers, recording a 68 for a share of third with Taiwanese amateur Yu Chun-An and compatriot Todd Sinnott.

"The wind is so flukey out there," said the Australian, who should at least end his run of five missed cuts on Friday.

"You don't even know what's going to go on today. I have absolutely no sense of what sort of score it's going to be at the end of the tournament, but if I play well I've got every chance to be there."

Spieth, playing with Ogilvy and former world number one Lee Westwood (70), admitted his uncertainty over how to deal with the wind had led him into a "brain fart" in his club selection at the final hole, which he bogeyed.

"I just didn't know what to hit, I was apparently two clubs off ... We just had no idea on that fairway," the U.S. Open and Masters champion said.   Continued...

Members of the crowd watch as U.S. golfer Jordan Spieth (C) hit a shot during the first round of the Australian Open golf tournament at the Australian Golf Club in Sydney, Australia, November 26, 2015. REUTERS/Steve Christo