Patrick Reed fired an opening five-under-par 66 at Royal Troon Golf Club to take the early lead at the 145th Open Championship on Thursday.
Reed took advantage of his morning tee time and went out in a blistering 31 strokes that included three birdies and a hole-out for eagle at the par-four third.
The American gave back shots at the 10th and 13th, but added birdies at the 12th and the 18th to go level-par on the stretch. He signed for 66 and the clubhouse lead.
Countryman Justin Thomas was sole second after shooting 67 for his debut round at The Open Championship. The 23-year-old bolted out of the blocks with four birdies in a row. He made another gain at the seventh to turn in five-under-par, but the back-nine presented a whole different test. Thomas
Thomas bogeyed the 10th, but really felt the bite of links golf when he took a double bogey at the 15th. He pencilled in a birdie three at the 18th to sign for four-under-par and sole second.
Branden Grace had a tidy round that included two birdies and one dropped shot. The 27-year-old signed for one-under-par 70 and an early share of 20th.