TROON, Scotland - Four days after nearly making history at the British Open, Greg Norman labored to a 4-over 75 on Thursday in the opening round of the Senior British Open to finish seven shots behind co-leaders Bruce Vaughan and Eduardo Romero.
In sunny conditions at Troon, Norman bogeyed six of the first 10 holes and was 6 over before he finally birdied the par-4 13th. He birdied the final hole with a pitch to 3 feet.
'Things just weren't going my way early on,' Norman said. 'I just had to hang in there and guts it out the best I could. The ball just wasn't rolling my way.'
The Australian said windy conditions, similar to the British Open, had an impact on his game.
'I got to the first tee and I never played this golf course in this wind before,' Norman said. 'I didn't feel that confident with some of the tee shots.'
The 53-year-old Norman led the British Open at Royal Birkdale with nine holes to play Sunday and appeared on course to become the oldest winner of a major before he finished third behind Padraig Harrington.
While Norman struggled, playing partner Tom Watson made every green and missed only one fairway in a bogey-free 70. Andy Bean, John Cook and Kirk Hanefield and Nick Job were one shot off the leaders.
Vaughan made eight birdies for a 3-under 68 on the links course. But his round was hampered by a double-bogey and a triple. He recovered from the 7s on the sixth and 12th holes to play the last six at 3-under par.
'It was either feast or famine,' Vaughan said. 'Outside of those two hockey sticks (7s), it was a good round.'
Romero had only one bogey, driving into a fairway bunker at the par-5 sixth hole.
Romero captured his second Seniors tournament three weeks ago at the Dick's Sporting Goods Open at Endicott, N.Y. He lost a playoff to Loren Roberts at the Senior British championship two years ago at Turnberry.