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Gary Woodland fires a 3-over 73 at opening round of 2021 British Open

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Gary Woodland tees off on the second hole during a practice round for the Masters golf tournament Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2020, in Augusta, Ga. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Gary Woodland tees off on the second hole during a practice round for the Masters golf tournament Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2020, in Augusta, Ga. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip) by Matt Tait

Across the pond, playing in golf’s final major of the season, former University of Kansas All-American Gary Woodland shot a 3-over 73 in Round 1 of the 2021 British Open on Thursday in Sandwich, England.

Woodland played even-par golf through 13 holes at Royal St. George on Thursday — a bogey at No. 4, a birdie at No. 10 and the rest pars — but carded bogeys on three of his final five holes to fall down the leaderboard.

The former Jayhawk is playing in just his fourth event since the start of June and the first since he was cut at the Rocket Mortgage Classic the first week of July.

The British Open, with its different course layouts and the unique style required to play well, has been the most challenging of the four majors throughout Woodland’s professional career.

His best finish came in 2016, when he tied for 12th at the event. Since then, however, he has finished tied for 70th, tied for 67th and missed a cut.

Woodland owns at least two Top 25 finishes in each of golf’s three other majors, including the 2019 U.S. Open title.

Woodland will need a strong second round to allow him to stick around for the weekend. He’s slated to tee off at 8:04 a.m. Friday and will play with two-time British Open champion Ernie Els (+2) and amateur Cole Hammer (+5).

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