2023 British Open: Pot bunker KO’s player, who makes 10 on Royal Liverpool’s 18th
Every score, from 3 to 10, was recorded Thursday on Royal Liverpool’s par-5 18th hole.
Unfortunately for Taichi Kho, he was the guy who made the 10.
Kho, the 22-year-old Notre Dame product who turned pro last January and quickly won on the Asian Tour to punch his Open Championship ticket, was one hole away from capping an impressive back-nine rally following a front-nine, 8-over 43. He made seven straight pars before notching his first birdie of the day, from 27 feet at the par-3 17th hole. He also found the fairway at No. 18 and then a left greenside, pot bunker with his second shot, avoiding the hole’s internal out of bounds on both attempts.
Easy up-and-down birdie? Well…
While there is no video of what transpired next, the shot tracker on the Open’s website tells a disastrous story. Only 9 yards from the hole, Kho left his third and fourth shots in the pot bunker before deciding to play out backward into the native area. But Kho wasn’t done with that bunker, as he deposited his sixth shot back into the same sand.
With his seventh, Kho played backward again, this time into the grandstand, which gave him free relief. He chipped to 9 feet from there and two-putted for his double-par score – and an opening 12-over 83, the worst score of the first round.
Kho’s score was a shot better than Justin Thomas’ 82, which included an out-of-bounds tee shot and more greenside bunker issues, including the same trap that got Kho. Thomas would card a 9.