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Open Championship 2018: Kisner shoots 66 for early lead

By
Connor Grott
American Kevin Kisner hits out of the bunker on the 18th green on the first day of the 2018 Open Golf Championships on Thursday in Carnoustie, Scotland. Photo by Hugo Philpott/UPI
American Kevin Kisner hits out of the bunker on the 18th green on the first day of the 2018 Open Golf Championships on Thursday in Carnoustie, Scotland. Photo by Hugo Philpott/UPI | License Photo

July 19 (UPI) -- American Kevin Kisner started fast at the 147th Open Championship, shooting a 5-under 66 to take an early lead Thursday at Carnoustie Golf Links in Scotland.

Kisner was 1-over par heading into the sixth hole and got a much-needed spark after he drained a long putt for eagle. He finished with four more birdies and escaped the challenging final holes of the course.

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"Absolutely," Kisner answered about the eagle fueling him. "I was 1-over going into the hole. Hit a great drive and a three iron and holed a long putt, which was kind of the theme of the day."

"It jump-started the round and continued to make birdies and finished it off with really nice pars on the last three."

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The course in Carnoustie showed its teeth on the first day, as there wasn't a single bogey-free round during the first round of play.

Tiger Woods saw a slight return to form despite showing up to the first round with tape on his neck. He finished with an even-par 71, which snapped a streak of seven consecutive majors of being over par in the first round.

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2017 British Open champion Jordan Spieth had an up-and-down first round. He birdied two of the first four holes and added another birdie on the 11th hole to sit at 3-under-par. Spieth spiraled at the end, carding a double-bogey on No. 15 and bogeys on No. 16 and No. 18 to finish at 1-over-par.

Erik van Rooyen, Tony Finau and Zander Lombard finished at 4-under-par for a share of second place behind Kisner. Brandon Stone, Brendan Steele and Ryan Moore each carded a 3-under-par 68 in a three-way split for the fifth position.

Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas each shot 2-under-par 69, nabbing a share of eighth place. Rickie Fowler (-1) finished in 18th.

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Phil Mickelson (+2) and Dustin Johnson (+5) -- the world's No. 1-ranked golfer -- struggled in their opening rounds, finishing in 73rd and 129th, respectively.

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