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Who’s saying what at the British Open

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US golfer Patrick Reed plays from off the fairway on the 13th hole during his first round on day one of The 149th British Open Golf Championship at Royal St George’s, Sandwich in south-east England on July 15, 2021. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP)

The British Open returned on Thursday for the first time in two years, with 32,000 fans at Royal St. George’s enjoying the action.

AFP Sport looks at the best of the players’ soundbites after the first round of the 149th Open Championship:

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“For other events, you sort of drag yourself out of bed and look like the Kellogg’s man. Today actually wasn’t too bad. You’ve always got a buzz to come and play The Open.”

— Andy Sullivan reflects on being in the first group out at 0535 GMT

“To be able to be clapped on to every tee, every green, fan who knows golf, makes a big difference in this game.”

— England’s Danny Willett, a former Masters champion, on playing in front of a home crowd again

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“I’ve got a bag of them at home that I might just throw in a river someday.”

— Louis Oosthuizen is glad to have finally found a putter he can rely on after experimenting with several clubs.

“Inside the ropes when we teed off on the first tee forward, it feels the most normal of any tournament I think that we’ve played thus far relative to that same tournament in previous years pre-Covid.”

— Jordan Spieth on the return of some normality at the final major of the year

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“Even though I left the house with plenty of time, I needed a little bit of help from a couple of very nice English policemen on the bikes to get me here with only about 35, 40 minutes to tee off, when usually I like to be here around an hour-and-a-half before.”

— Sergio Garcia was very happy with his two-under-par round after a stressful start to the day caused by delays in the heavy traffic around the venue.

“Just three weeks in a row now playing, and then not that it was a super early tee time, but just setting an alarm, just, yeah, felt like I was half asleep until the back nine and then things started to kick off and got myself back into it.”

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— France’s Benjamin Herbert shot an impressive four-under 66 for a man snoozing on the front nine.

“If I can hit it down the middle of the fairway, that’s great, but with the driver right now, the driver sucks.”

— Bryson DeChambeau laments his wayward play off the tee that saw him hit just four of 14 fairways.

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