I was able to get a day 1 7:30 tee time starting on the more difficult of the two nine hole sides which meant: the more challenging side's ground would be softer and I wouldn't have to contend with much wind. After my name was announced at 7:32, I hit my opening tee shot 315 down the left center of the fairway with a slight cut into the middle.
There is an art to the game in general, but the opening tee shot of a major competition adopts new meaning because it carries with it more emotion and adrenaline than a player will typically face all day. You've prepared for weeks, maybe months, rehearsed every shot over a thousand times. You've envisioned yourself playing this particular opening shot for the last few days yet, your hands still manage to shake a little; it becomes a test of faith. For some players, those little jitters and hand shakes translate into negative energy. For me, it is the highest form of being. It means you're alive, living in a defining moment and you are being tested. The prep work leading up to the event is monotonous, painful and can be boring. This moment makes it all worthwhile. It's like laying down your inner fortitude as the bet on the black jack table. It's about taking control of your life and then letting it go to regain control again. No matter what happens, this moment is nothing short of spectacularly revealing.
I was able to take advantage of the morning conditions and made the turn in three under par 33. I played well on the following side, but it failed to yeild as many birdies and donated a couple bogies to the cause. When the dust settled, I walked away from the course with a scorecard that read 69 and a belief that there are a lot more opportunities waiting for me to grasp hold of tomorrow. If I can manage to find and maintain a comfortable emotional state for round 2, the leaders of the tournament are going to find themselves getting passed like my ball over my competitors' on the tournament's opening tee shot.