With the sun beaming in Scotland on the opening day of the Open championship and buoyed by Justin Rose's win at the US Open, there was cause for optimism amongst a British charge at Muirfield yesterday morning.

Just 18 holes later and that optimism fizzled out as Great Britain & Ireland's best golfers made tough work of the 142nd Open championship with only one player, Oli Fisher, under par. 

It certainly looked good at one stage as Poulter trotted up the 14th fairway but four bogeys in his last five holes pulled him to one over for the day and led him to claim that the course was 'a joke' and 'unplayable' at times. 

He even went as far to say the 18th green should have had a windmill and a clown face on it. Comments he may regret when he wakes up this morning.

Lee Westwood was steady throughout and managed, like Poulter, to also finish on one over as did former winner and crowd favourite Darren Clarke.

The current US Open champion however, had less joy with the strong putting that Rose had three weeks ago somewhat deserting him and leaving him on four over for the round; the same score joined by one-time major winner Graeme McDowell.

Perhaps the biggest disappointment, and maybe not surprising given his form this year, was Rory Mcllroy who hacked and stumbled his way to an eight-over par 79. 

A man who looked out of sorts with his swing and too aggressive in search for form; Rory later claimed that he was 'unconscious' throughout his round. Worrying times for the two-time major champion.

Lastly, Luke Donald capped off a truly miserable day for the home grown players shooting a nine-over par 80 and already unlikely to make the cut for the weekend.

Of course its only the first round but already so many of the British stars have put themselves out of contention and with a lot of work to do on Friday.

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