first_imgJeev Milkha Singh’s fondness to tee up at difficult golf courses without a practice round almost paid off on Thursday as he found himself right on top of the leaderboard after 11 holes of the first round of the 141st Open Championships at the Royal Lytham & St Annes.But three dropped shots between 13th and 14th brought him down to even-par 70 on a day that was perfect for scoring.No one used the conditions better than Australian Adam Scott, widely considered as one of the best players not to have won a Major. Scott, who has Tiger Woods’ former caddie Steve Williams on the bag, needed a birdie on the last hole to move to eightunder and set the record for his lowest round ever in a Major. But he bogeyed the 18th and finished with 64.Close behind Scott were six Major winners, including Tiger Woods (67), the winner of 14 Majors. The 2007 Masters winner Zach Johnson and Paul Lawrie, winner of the 1999 British Open, were tied second at 65, while Woods, winner of three Opens, Ernie Els, a 2002 Open winner, Graeme McDowell and Bubba Watson were all at 67.Anirban Lahiri, who started in the second last group of the day, had played just three holes but was oneunder with a birdie on the first, his firstever hole in a Major. Daniel Chopra carded 73.Asked about his liking for turning up ‘blind’ to play on difficult courses, Jeev said, “For sure I do, but I take it in a way that if you play a lot of practice rounds you see a lot of trouble. So you might as well not see it, you might as well just tee it up straight and see the good and go for it. Like last week (Castle Stuart Links) I didn’t play a practice round, I just went straight up.”advertisementHe laughed and added, “I like to play the golf course blind. I think that’s why I paid my dues on No.13 (he had a double bogey), but that’s all right. I think mentally I was a little tired so I just wanted to take it easy. So I just played six (here) and I just saw a few holes.”Jeev started the day with a birdie from 25 feet on the par-3 first, a unique feature of Royal Lytham and St Annes, which has par-3s on the first and ninth. Jeev followed that up with a chip-in for par on third and a 15-footer birdie on fourth.He could have moved to three under but his birdie putt on fifth just shaved the hole. A bad tee shot on seventh cost him a bogey, but he did get a birdie on par-3 ninth.With a birdie followed on 11th from 12 feet, Jeev shared the top spot with Paul Lawrie at three-under.Jeev confessed, “(At that stage) I was thinking I am going to get lower. There was a hiccup on No. 13, but that’s fine, it happens. The 13th hole got me. But the good part is I came back with a birdie on the next hole on 14th.”In the past Jeev has won tournaments at the Valderrama Golf Club in Spain and last week at the Castle Stuart in Aberdeen, Scotland without a practice round at the layout.last_img