NEWPORT’S Phillip Price was left battered and bruised by the South Wales wind after his first round in The Senior Open at Royal Porthcawl.

It all started so well for the 50-year-old who was joint leader on one under par after his first 12 holes.

But a bogey on the 13th and a double-bogey six on the 14th saw him slip down the leaderboard as the wind and rain made life extremely difficult for everyone.

Price dropped a further shot on the 18th to finish on three over par to leave him wondering what might have been if he’d managed to maintain his excellent start.

“It’s very frustrating,” said Price. “I hit a six on 13 and hit it in the bunker on 14 and got it up in three so that was a shock.

“But I think the real disappointment was the bogey on the last hole.

“I didn’t hit too many bad shots, even the chip was pretty nice.

“I didn’t expect to be in the bunker, then I missed the putt so I’m pretty disappointed.”

Price knows the Porthcawl course well but that didn’t help him cope with the adverse conditions.

“It was really difficult, even putting you couldn’t keep still,” he explained.

“We don’t play in wind this strong, or very rarely so this is a different level for everybody.”

Looking ahead to day two he added: “I think it will be an all-weather glove, waterproofs on and windscreen wipers probably!

“I don’t know where the cut will be but it’s going to be ugly!”

Price’s playing partners Colin Montgomerie and Corey Pavin finished level par and two over respectively.

American legend Tom Watson finished on one over and he agreed that the weather posed a tough challenge.

“I'd put it in the top-10 in the toughest conditions I've ever played in on a links golf course,” said the eight-time Major winner.

“The two squalls we had to play through, it was obviously very difficult conditions. But you have to take what the conditions give you.

“Bring it on, come on. Let's play real links golf,” added the 67-year-old.

“This golf course is one of the great golf courses we play without a doubt. It's an unsung links golf course.

“It has everything you want in a links golf course. I love playing it and I have nothing but the highest regard for it.

“I was very lucky. Made a 90-footer on the very first hole for birdie, so that released some of the anxiety about the conditions.

“I made a 60-foot putt on 14 for birdie. So I really turned a 77 or a 78 score into a 72 today. I’m very grateful for that score.”