Cameron Young back at St. Andrews as pro, opens with a 64

Jul 13, 2022, 8:29 PM | Updated: Jul 14, 2022, 4:05 pm

Cameron Young of the US plays from the 3rd tee during the first round of the British Open golf cham...

Cameron Young of the US plays from the 3rd tee during the first round of the British Open golf championship on the Old Course at St. Andrews, Scotland, Thursday, July 14 2022. The Open Championship returns to the home of golf on July 14-17, 2022, to celebrate the 150th edition of the sport's oldest championship, which dates to 1860 and was first played at St. Andrews in 1873. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

(AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

ST. ANDREWS, Scotland (AP) — The first time Cameron Young played the Old Course at St. Andrews was one of his best moments in golf. The most recent one was even better.

In his British Open debut, Young plotted his way around the course in a gentle breeze and finished with a long two-putt birdie for an 8-under 64 for a two-shot lead over Rory McIlroy.

Young, whose father is the longtime pro at Sleepy Hollow in New York, first came to Scotland in 2010 when he was 13. He played some of the fabled courses in the area — St. Andrews, Carnoustie, North Berwick — not knowing then that he would even pursue a career in golf.

“Any time you set foot on the first tee or 18th green or anywhere, there’s just no hiding how special of a place it is,” Young said. “And it’s certainly been a goal to get to an Open Championship. And for my first one to be here is a little bit extra special for me.”

He’s not even sure he played his best for his opening round. His tee shots weren’t always going where he was looking. But in his short time back at St. Andrews, he learned enough about where to go and how to play the centuries-old course to get by just fine.

Young went out in 31. He drove over the green on the par-4 12th, pitched back to 8 feet and holed it for birdie to reach 7-under par. A record score at St. Andrews on a good day for scoring was within reach.

But he three-putted for par on the 14th. His 10-foot birdie chance on the 15th spun out of the cup. He missed another good chance from 15 feet on the next hole.

Even so, the 25-year-old New Yorker had few complaints. He loves links golf.

“I don’t think I’ve figured that much of it out, honestly,” Young said. “You could play every day here for a year and you would just scratch the surface of what you can know about this place. There’s so many humps and bounds and little nuances to the golf course that we could never know in the four or five days that I’ve had to prepare.”

As for that trip? He still has great memories, none that top St. Andrews.

“My dad asked for permission to play from the back tees. I think that’s something you have to do, if I remember correctly,” he said. “So when we came out to hit our first tee shots with the R&A building right there, there were a bunch of R&A members presumably watching. And I’m glad I didn’t know. I’m sure I would have been nervous out of my mind.”

It’s hard to detect a pulse from Young now. He has been around the game long enough to realize not to get too far ahead. This is an ideal start, and for now, that’s all it is.

“I’m happy I shot 64. I’m happy that, as far as I know, I’m still leading The Open Championship, but it’s not going to change how I feel an hour from now,” he said.

His rookie year on the PGA Tour is among the best, though Young is not satisfied because he hasn’t won. He was just inside the top 500 in the world a year ago. Now he is No. 32, thanks to four top-three finishes, including at the PGA Championship, where he finished one shot out of a playoff at Southern Hills.

Now he can only hope for another chance in the year’s final major.

His father, David Young, is a master professional with the PGA of America. He thought the trip to Scotland was critical in his son finding a real passion for golf.

“It rained like the first four days we were there, and I have these pictures of him wearing my raingear down to his knees, soaking wet,” David Young said at the PGA Championship. “I’m thinking, ‘After this trip, this kid is never going to want to play golf again.’ But it did just the opposite. It got him excited about it.”


More AP golf: https://apnews.com/hub/golf and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Associated Press

Ex-Packer Guion gets 1 year for domestic violence assault

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Former Green Bay Packers defensive tackle Letroy Guion was sentenced to one year in jail after pleading no contest in a domestic violence assault at his home last fall. Brown County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Walsh also ordered Guion on Tuesday to serve three years’ probation and complete a domestic […]

1 year ago

Joe Jarzynka...

Associated Press

Durant eager for Suns debut vs. Hornets after knee injury

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Kevin Durant has been through quite a bit during his 15-year NBA career — but joining a new team midway through the season is a new one for the 13-time All-Star. The 34-year-old Durant doesn’t seem all that worried. Durant makes his highly anticipated Phoenix Suns debut on Wednesday night against […]

1 year ago

FILE - Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores stands on the sideline during the second half of an N...

Associated Press

Judge: NFL coach can press discrimination claims in court

NEW YORK (AP) — NFL Coach Brian Flores can pursue some of his discrimination claims against the league and its teams in court rather than through arbitration, a judge ruled Wednesday. The written decision by Judge Valerie Caproni in Manhattan was issued months after lawyers for the league tried to get the lawsuit moved to […]

1 year ago

Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Alex Stalock cools off in the first period during an NHL hockey game ...

Associated Press

Kane trade reinforces hard reality of Blackhawks rebuild

CHICAGO (AP) — After days of speculation, the harsh reality of the Chicago Blackhawks’ situation was reinforced by one move in a flurry of transactions ahead of the NHL trade deadline. Showtime is over, at least in Chicago, and a seemingly bright future is, well, way off in the distance. The reverberations of Chicago’s decision […]

1 year ago

FILE -  Yves Jean-Bart, president of the Haitian Football Federation, wearing a protective face mas...

Associated Press

Disgraced ex-Haitian soccer president announces he’s back

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Haiti’s former soccer federation president whose lifetime ban from sport over sexual abuse allegations was overturned last month announced Wednesday that he is reclaiming his position. Yves Jean-Bart’s defiant announcement could lead to a standoff with FIFA, which already has appointed an emergency management committee to lead the Haitian Football Association […]

1 year ago

FILE - Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers walks off the field after an NFL football game against the ...

Associated Press

Rodgers says decision on future will come ‘soon enough’

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Aaron Rodgers says he will make a decision on his future “soon enough” as the four-time MVP quarterback ponders whether to play next season and if his future remains with the Green Bay Packers. Rodgers, 39, discussed his future while speaking on an episode of the “Aubrey Marcus Podcast” that […]

1 year ago

Cameron Young back at St. Andrews as pro, opens with a 64