The Open 2017: Richie Ramsay and Martin Laird start well at Royal Birkdale

Richie Ramsay enjoyed playing with co-leader Matt Kuchar
Ramsay enjoyed his day playing alongside co-leader Matt Kuchar
2017 Open Championship on the BBC
Venue: Royal Birkdale Dates: 20-23 July
Live: Listen to BBC Radio 5 live commentary and follow text updates - including in-play video clips - on BBC Sport website and mobile app. TV highlights on BBC Two.

Martin Laird and Richie Ramsay are the leading Scots at Royal Birkdale after shooting two under par rounds of 68 on the opening day of The Open.

Ramsay partnered Matt Kuchar, one of three Americans to set the early pace at five under.

"Playing with Matt was great," he said. "He is just very consistent, it's almost controlled aggression."

Laird dropped shots at the first and 18th but the 34-year-old was able to roll in five birdies on the links.

"I bogeyed the first and the last and everything in between was really good," said the US-based Glaswegian.

"I hit the ball great and had two or three tap-in birdies, which is always nice on courses like this. That's as good as I've hit it in a long while.

"Generally speaking, over my career the harder the course, the better I play.

"I'm pretty good at working my round the golf course. My short game has got so much better over the past few years. I feel that's what gives me a chance when I come to these tournaments."

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The Open 2017: Martin Laird happy with opening round

Ramsay, also 34, bogeyed the sixth but went on to pick up three birdies.

The Aberdonian enjoyed his seventh Open appearance, taking time to check out the giant leaderboard on the 18th to see exactly where his name was.

"It's the yellow leaderboards and all that goes with it, that makes The Open what it is. It's just brilliant. It was nice to see my name was spelled right as well. That was good.

"My putt at the last was fantastic. Just rolled it up stiff and you can enjoy that 20-yard walk with the applause."

Paul Lawrie, champion in 1999, had four birdies in a level par round of 70, while David Drysdale finished on 72.

Amateur Connor Syme rolled in four birdies, including the final two holes, for a 73.

The 22-year-old from Fife just loved his first taste of the tournament, saying: "It was an amazing experience.

"You feel nervous walking round then you get to the first tee and then say to yourself this is what you practise for, the entrance onto the first tee. I then hit a good shot and made a good par."

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The Open 2017: Russelll Knox disappointed with opening round

Russell Knox, the highest-ranked Scot in the field, endured another frustrating day, hitting only 44% of greens in regulation, as he carded a 74.

The world number 47 is in danger of missing the cut for the fourth time in five outings.

The 1985 champion, Sandy Lyle, who infamously walked off the Royal Birkdale course after just 10 holes in 2008, shot a 77 in the worst of the weather, which included a double bogey at the 10th.

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