Scottish Open: Matt Kuchar part of four-way tie for early lead
By Ali Stafford
Last Updated: 11/07/19 8:39pm
Matt Kuchar fired an eight-under 63 to sit part of a four-way tie for the lead after the opening round of the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open.
Kuchar made six birdies and two eagles on a day of low scoring at the Renaissance Club, to join Edoardo Molinari, Nino Bertasio and Romain Wattel at the top of the leaderboard.
English duo Andy Sullivan and Lee Slattery are in the group a shot off the pace that also includes 2014 Ryder Cup star Jamie Donaldson, while Rory McIlroy is four strokes back after an opening-round 67.
"Eight under is far better than I thought [I would manage]," Kuchar said. "Conditions were pretty easy when we started the round. It was good, steady play."
Kuchar made his move up the leaderboard by posting four birdies in a five-hole stretch from the fourth, before cancelling out a blemish at the ninth by picking up a shot at the par-four next.
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The FedExCup leader bounced back from a three-putt bogey at the 11th by holing a 15-foot eagle at the par-five next, before birdieing the 14th and making a long-range putt for eagle at the 16th to get to eight under.
Wattel had set the initial clubhouse target after birdieing seven of the opening 10 holes of his 63, while Bertasio made a bogey-free start and Molinari briefly got to nine under until he failed to get up and down to save par on his penultimate hole.
Kalle Samooja fired a hole-in-one at the par-three 15th to join the group in a share of fifth and one back, while Trevor Immelman also aced the same hole on his way to an opening-round 66.
Pre-tournament favourite McIlroy birdied four of his opening six holes but failed to make further progress to post a four-under 67, with Justin Thomas also in the group tied-29th.
Watch the Scottish Open throughout the week live on Sky Sports. Live coverage continues on Friday from 8.30am on Sky Sports Golf.