Royal Liverpool member Matthew Jordan used home advantage to good effect to make a dream start to the 151st Open in Hoylake.
The 27-year-old, playing in the tournament for the second time after qualifying at nearby West Lancashire, delighted a huge local following by moving into the lead at two under early in his round.
Having been given the honour of being first man to tee off at 6.35am he had a nervy opening hole after finding the rough and then a bunker and holing a 14-foot putt to save par.
But with the nerves settled, the DP World Tour professional recorded the tournament’s first birdie at the second hole, which he has always played as the 18th but has changed this week for an improved tournament layout, from 18 feet and he was off and running.
A brilliant three-wood from 256 yards at the par-five fifth just carried the greenside bunker and set up a 10-foot eagle chance and while he could not capitalise he settled for a second birdie which took him to two under and one ahead of playing partner Richie Ramsay, of Scotland, and New Zealand’s Ryan Fox.
Big names going out in the morning included defending champion Cameron Smith alongside Xander Schauffele and US Open winner Wyndham Clark, one group behind world number one Scottie Scheffler, home hope Tommy Fleetwood and Australian Adam Scott.
Tournament favourite Rory McIlroy, straight off the back of Sunday’s Scottish Open win, was due out at 2.59pm with Masters champion and world number three Jon Rahm and England’s Justin Rose in the marquee group of the afternoon.