Late errors cost defending champion Jordan Spieth the chance to make a big statement in Round 1 of the British Open, as Kevin Kisner set the early pace at Carnoustie in Angus, Scotland.
Spieth's round started well before he dropped four shots in the final four holes, pushing him back down the leaderboard and to an eventual one-over-par score of 72.
Kisner enjoyed a fine day, as he moved to the top of the standings with a five-under-par 66. Erik van Rooyen was in closest contention to the American in the clubhouse early in the afternoon, just one shot back, although a number of high-class players still have to finish their rounds on Thursday.
Here is how the leaderboard is shaping up at Carnoustie and a recap of the best of the action so far.
Leaderboard as of 3 p.m. (BST)/ 10 a.m. (ET)
-5 (66) Kevin Kisner
-4 (67) Erik van Rooyen
-3 (68) Brandon Stone
-2 (69) Matthew Southgate
-2 (69) Danny Willett
-2 (69) Sung Kang
-2 (69) Jon Rahm
- - -
+1 (72) Justin Rose
+1 (72) Jordan Spieth
+2 (73) Phil Mickelson
+2 (73) Ernie Els
Completed rounds only. For the live leaderboard visit the Open website.
Late Lapses Cost Spieth
Even for a man of Spieth's pedigree, it wouldn't have been a huge surprise for him to have some nerves on the opening tee as the defending champion. If he did have any, we didn't see them to begin with.
The American was exceptional early on, with two birdies in the first four holes putting him into a strong position quickly. He then settled into his round for the remainder of the back nine; he produced a stunning putt from the fringe and around the edge of a bunker at the eighth to save par.
As noted by golf analyst Jason Sobel, Spieth appeared back near his best again after an inconsistent year with the putter:
Another birdie followed at 11, and Spieth was edging closer to the summit of the leaderboard. But at 15 and 16, disaster struck.
At the former, he had to play out of the bunker sideways and then missed a putt for bogey, meaning two dropped shots. Then at 16, another par putt slipped by, suddenly leaving the champion back at level par.
Having settled down with a par at 17, Spieth then clattered a drive right off the tee and into the water at the last. Eventually, a decent approach saw him settle for a bogey, bringing the curtain down on a disappointing finale.
Alongside Spieth in the same group, Justin Rose struggled to get anything going until the last, when he made birdie to finish on one-over par for the round.
The man who set the pace early in the day was Kisner, as he recovered from a bogey at five to shoot an eagle and four birdies.
The competition's official Twitter account relayed the best bits of some of his excellent round:
In closest contention to the American was early starter Van Rooyen, who was on course to match Kisner's score before he made his first bogey of the day at the last. Jon Rahm is also well placed after Day 1, as he conjured a rock-solid two-under-par opening round.
Elsewhere, it was a tough day for 2013 champion Phil Mickelson, as he toiled to a two-over-par round of 73. Two-time champion Ernie Els was also only able to muster the same score.