Lytham St. Annes, England – No one wants be that guy.
"The best player to never win a major."
Phil Mickelson carried the burden for years. So did Davis Love III and Sergio Garcia, who's fallen down the ladder so ferociously, he probably doesn't belong in the conversation anymore.
That title probably belongs to Lee Westwood at the moment. (Doesn't look like he'll shed it at Royal Lytham thanks to a 3-over 73 in easy conditions Thursday morning.)
Luke Donald has to have a piece of that crown. He's the No. 1 player in the world, but is six shots back after round one.
Adam Scott is another candidate for the moniker. He just turned 32 and has yet to break through in a major. He hasn't started contending really until last year's Masters.
But now he's the 18-hole leader of the Open Championship and no one is more aware of what lacks in his career.
"I haven't achieved my goal of winning major championships," Scott said. "That's what I dreamt of as a kid and that's what I made as goals when I turned pro and what I thought about when I turned pro.
"I guess I haven't achieved that."
Here's what other players were saying after the first round of the Open Championship:
- PAUL LAWRIE, the 1999 Open Champion, who is tied for second, on an interesting exchange he had on Thursday when Matt Kuchar, playing in the group behind, wandered into the sixth fairway when Lawrie was about to drive: "I'd had my practice swing and was getting ready to hit and then someone said 'Kuchar's there' and he was walking across. It can happen as we are in our own world sometimes but it was quite funny when he put his hands up."
- ZACH JOHNSON, last week's John Deere Classic winner, whose opening-round 65 put him in good position to become the first player since Lee Trevino in 1971 to win the PGA Tour event the week before the Open, then hoist the Claret Jug, on what worked Thursday: "I just kept the golf course in front of me and hit some solid shots. Benign conditions like that, you have to take advantage and fortunately I made a few putts."
- NICOLAS COLSAERTS, who fired the lowest round of the later groups on Thursday with his 5-under 65, on his round: "I kept hitting very good shots in succession early on, so really got the momentum of the round going. Didn't really hit any bad shots today."
- TIGER WOODS, a three-time winner of this event, who had a 3-under 67 on Thursday, on the difference the benign weather conditions Thursday brought to the opening round: "It's just a question of selecting the right club to get there. I played practice rounds on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and they were completely different clubs based on the winds."
- GRAEME MCDOWELL, the 2010 U.S. Open winner and runner-up this year, on his feelings about his swing and his position after his 67: "I've got a little bit of work to do on my full swing, I wasn't really 100 percent in control of it today, but we'll be ready for tomorrow. There's no reason why I shouldn't challenge."
- BUBBA WATSON, the reigning Masters champion, who had a 67 on Thursday, on his chances in big events: "When I'm on my game, I can compete with the best. Now I know going forward, I have a chance to win again. I have a chance to compete every Sunday, so that's my goal, just keep doing that."
- ERNIE ELS, the 2002 British Open winner, who has two top-3 finishes at the last two Opens at Royal Lytham, on the pressure attached to the first round, when he shot a 67: "It's a big day today, a little tight because it's such a big day. I feel good this week. I feel my ball-striking is as good it's been for quite some time. My putting has really come around."
- RORY MCILROY, the world No. 2 who shot a 3-under 67 in afternoon, on the advantages of watching the golf before he went out: "You turn on the TV and you see guys are going under par. You don't know what to think whether you should turn it off and just not watch. I like it. It gives you a good sense where the pins are. It helps me a little bit when I can see what the guys in the morning can do."
- LUKE DONALD, the world No. 1, on overcoming the negative thoughts that creep into his mind during majors: "I think everyone has them. It's just about controlling it, realizing that you can set your own mind-set and go with whatever want to think about."