7/19/2018 8:47:53 PM

American Kisner holds clubhouse lead at British Open

American Kisner holds clubhouse lead at British Open

Carnoustie, United Kingdom: American Kevin Kisner birdied three successive holes on the inward nine to card a five-under-par first round of 66 and take the clubhouse lead at the British Open on Thursday. 

The 34-year-old -- a two-time winner on the PGA Tour -- had got his opening round on track after a bogey on the fifth with an eagle on the historic sixth, a hole known as 'Hogan's Alley'.

Kisner leads by a shot from a trio of players, South Africa's Erik van Rooyen, who went out in the second group, his compatriot Zander Lombard and American Tony Finau.

The favourites enjoyed mixed fortunes.

Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy came in with a 69, while Tiger Woods' return to The Open after a two-year hiatus saw him sit at two-under after 11 holes.

Meanwhile, reigning Open champion Jordan Spieth dropped four shots in the final three holes -- including a double-bogey at the 15th which he put down to terrible decision-making -- to card a 72.

Spieth is certainly better-placed than world number one Dustin Johnson, who may struggle to make the cut after posting a 76.

The 31-year-old American's round ended with a catatastrophic triple-bogey at the 18th, the hole where Frenchman Jean Van de Velde's title hopes came to grief in 1999. 

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