Dustin Johnson put the US Open loss behind him as he finished Day 1 with an outright lead after scoring seven-under-par 65. 1999 Open champion Paul Lawrie and England’s Danny Willett trail Johnson by one shot.
World No. 2 Jordan Spieth, who is looking for third Major in a row is two shots off the lead after carding a 67. Louis Oosthuizen, winner at St. Andrews five years ago and his compatriot Charl Schwartzel are tied with Spieth at five under. Joining Lawrie and Willett on six under are Australian Jason Day, Retief Goosen, Zach Johnson and Robert Streb.
Tiger Woods carded his worst score at the Open as he ended with 76.
Spieth was the center of attention after incredible performances at the Masters and the US Open. He began confidently as he putted a six-foot birdie in the first hole. A 12-foot birdie followed on the next hole, but missed from eight feet on the third. The American moved up the leaderboard steadily courtesy a hat-trick of birdies from the 5th. After bogeying on the 17th, Spieth roared back with a 20-foot birdie on the last hole.
"The game plan was to get into position after round one and that's what we've done," said Spieth, who played his first competitive round at St. Andrews.
"I've always dreamed of playing the Open here as it's so iconic, so for my first round to go the way it has is great."
Johnson eased into the proceedings on the first day with birdies on the second and third before adding an eagle on the fifth. Two more birdies followed at nine and 10, before he made a cast iron four on the par-five 14th.
“This venue here is one of my favourite Opens,” Johnson said. “I really like the golf course and I think it sets up well for me.”
Woods, who is looking for his first Major win since 2008 US Open made a horrendous start as he dropped five shots in the first 10 holes. The former World No.1’s only birdie came on the 14th, but it looks extremely tough for Woods to make the halfway cut come Friday evening.