David Duval is probably wishing he’d done things a little differently Thursday on the par-5 seventh at Royal Portrush. The 2001 Open Champion bungled the 590-yard hole with a 9-over 13. He finished the front nine at 13 over. Suffice to say, Duval has jumped out to an early lead for worst-played hole of the tournament less than one day into the event.
Duval started his day off hot with consecutive birdies on Nos. 1 and 2, but things quickly spiraled from there. He followed that up with pars on Nos. 3 and 4, then went quadruple bogey-bogey before going completely off the rails with a 9 over. His 14 is the highest score at The Open since at least 1983, shattering the previous high of 11 that had been shared by four players. It was previously deemed a 13 — an octuple bogey — but after his round the R&A determined he in fact took 14 strokes on the hole, making it a nonuple bogey.
Duval had time to scramble and claw back into the fold on the first day of The Open, but more time for him left him only with more time to dig himself in a hole. He carded bogey or worse on six of his final 11 holes, wrapping the day with a 20-over 91.
If Duval was feeling pressure, he certainly shouldn’t be now. Entering the second round on Friday, he’ll easily start in sole possession of last place among all golfers in the field and well out of contention to make the cut going into the weekend.