‘Artist’ Tringale equals Renaissance course record to wrestle Genesis Scottish Open advantage

It’s fair to say, and quite clear to see after the opening day of evidence, that Cameron Tringale is a firm admirer of links land golf.

Taking advantage of kinder morning conditions in North Berwick, the 34-year-old Californian negotiated the opening round of the Genesis Scottish Open in a miserly 61 strokes to equal the course record at The Renaissance Club.

The world No.55 will take a three-stroke buffer over former U.S. Open champion Gary Woodland into Friday’s second round as a result after a Thursday that proved altogether more testing for the shiniest of the $8 million Rolex Series event’s star-studded cast.

The first event on European soil co-sanctioned by the DP World Tour and PGA Tour as part of their strengthened strategic alliance has attracted 14 of the world’s top 15 players but only three of the 14 managed to fight their way into the top 15 after the opening round. Sam Burns leads the big-name battle within the wider battle on -3 in seventh place while Jon Rahm, Cameron Smith and Jordan Spieth are tied 15th after two-under 68s.

The world No.1 Scottie Scheffler struggled to a three-over 73, a score matched by Justin Thomas and Hideki Matsuyama. Victor Hovland and Billy Horschel fared even worse after signing for 74 and 75 respectively.

The trials and tribulations of the superstars only served to emphasise the brilliance of Tringale’s round. After settling in with four straight pars, Tringale birdied nine of his next 11 holes including six on the trot from the 10th. If he wasn’t knocking it close, he was rolling in 38-footers on the 8th and another long bomb on the 11th.

“It was a lot of fun,” Tringale said in the understatement of Thursday. “I was really hot with the putter and my ball-striking matched up as well and I gave myself tons of chances and it was just one of those days when they all found the hole.”

Tringale said his pre-tournament expectations were modest but had made the decision to soak up playing golf in the game’s birthplace.

“I love playing links golf. It’s so much fun.”

“I think I’m pretty creative when it comes to the shots around the greens and being able to visualise and imagine shots that are not traditional for us in the States.

“I just think it’s so much fun to have that kind of optionality and to have fun with those shots. There’s probably five ways you can play most shots. It’s fun to be an artist out here. In that respect, I like my chances here.”

South Africa’s Justin Harding will start the second round in solo third after 65, a shot clear of American Kurt Kitayama, Dane Rasmus Hojgaard and Mito Pereira of Chile. Ewan Ferguson is among the group of eight players, also side Burns, on -3. Ferguson is the leading Scot with Russell Know on -2, Connor Syme on even par, Marc Warren on +1, David Law and Stephen Gallacher on +2. Robert Macintyre, the highest-ranked Scot in the field at 102nd in the OWGR, struggled to a three-over 73, a stroke ahead of Grant Forrest.

The leaders in the DP World Tour Rankings in partnership with Rolex also struggled with pole-sitter Will Zalatoris, involved in one of the most bizarre scenes of the day (see the Tweets below) and third-placed Matthew Fitzpatrick on +1, the latter in his first official outing since winning the U.S. Open. Kiwi Ryan Fox, fourth in the rankings, has much work to do to continue his recent hot form after a four-over 74.  Third-placed Rory McIlroy is the only player in the top 15 not playing in North Berwick, choosing instead to tee it up with Tiger Woods for some Open Championship prep in Ireland.

Taking of tough days at the office, check out some of the good and bad breaks Fitzpatrick had to contend with:

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