Brandt Snedeker has never made the cut in three trips to the British Open. The Nashville native appears ready to snap that streak.
After shooting a 4-under 66 in the opening round on Thursday, he sits alone in fifth place and just two shots back from leader Adam Scott at Royal Lytham & St. Annes in England.
Snedeker, a Vanderbilt and Montgomery Bell Academy grad, had four birdies and played bogey-free golf. After a birdie on the 16th, the 31-year-old made par on the last two holes to go into the clubhouse ahead of the logjam. Eight players shot a 67 to tie for sixth, including Tiger Woods, Ernie Els, Bubba Watson, Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell.
Scott, from Australia, tied the course record with a 6-under 64 but bogeyed the 18th hole for just a one-shot lead. Nicolas Colsaerts, Paul Lawrie and Zach Johnson — the only American with a better score than Snedeker — shot a 65 to tie for second.
Snedeker, who had a hole-in-one during his practice round on Wednesday, has only finished in the top five at a major once. In 2008, he tied for third at the Masters in 2008. He tied for 19th at Augusta earlier this year and did not play in last month’s U.S. Open because of a rib injury. He has three career PGA Tour wins, with his most recent in January at the Farmers Insurance Open in La Jolla, Calif.
Snedeker will tee off for the second round at 4:15 a.m. (CDT) and stay with his opening round grouping of Alexander Noren of Sweden and Australian Marc Leishman.