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Summary

  1. Jordan Spieth, Brooks Koepka & Matt Kuchar share clubhouse lead on -5
  2. Rory McIlroy +1, Sergio Garcia +3
  3. Ian Poulter shoots -3 - his best opening round to a major
  4. Justin Rose finishes +1, Tommy Fleetwood +6

Live Reporting

By Jonathan Jurejko, Luke Reddy and Alex Bysouth

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Farewell for now...

Watch highlights in this page

Spieth
get

And with that leaderboard we will sign off for the day.

A reminder, you can watch highlights in this page now, click 'live coverage'.

The tee times for Friday can be accessed by clicking here.

The report from Thursday by clicking here.

The best shots of the day are here.

Click golf at the top of the BBC Sport website homepage and you'll find quotes pieces galore too. Jordan Spieth showed the field how a steady round of links golf should look, though a couple stuck with him in their own slightly less graceful way. Rory McIlroy was anything but graceful but boy did he dig in. Like a boisterous child with a bucket and spade, he dug and dug. Maybe tomorrow he'll bring his JCB and really pose some questions.

We will be live texting from 0630 BST.

Farewell. FORE LEFT!

McIlroy
Getty Images

Leaderboard

-5: Spieth, Koepka, Kuchar

-4: Casey, Schwartzel

-3: Poulter, Cabrera Bello, Thomas, Bland, Connelly, Hoffman

Selected others:

-2: Matsuyama, Els, B Watson, -1: A Johnston, J Rahm +1: McIlroy, Fowler +2: Kaymer +6: Fleetwood

Koepka's putting masterclass

Koepka -5

Brooks Koepka
Getty Images

Co-clubhouse leader Brooks Koepka needed just 21 putts today.

That, according to the European Tour, is the fewest of any player at The Open since 2008.

Jordan Spieth needed 22. That's why they're up top.

And of course, if you tune into the highlights, wear sunglasses when John Daly is on.

John Daly
Getty Images

Highlights now?

Just a quick pointer for you. The highlights from today are currently on BBC Two and also at the top of this page. They will stay running at the top of this page until 22:00 BST.

Friday tee times...

First out on Friday... BEEF. Then here are some selected others. Remember, the forecast shows the morning weather will be better. For a full list of start times, click here.

06:35 Andrew Johnston (Eng), Adam Hadwin (Can), Todd Hamilton

08:25 Rickie Fowler, Adam Scott (Aus), Paul Casey (Eng)

09:47 Rory McIlroy (NI), Dustin Johnson, Charl Schwartzel (SA)

09:58 Jon Rahm (Spa), Patrick Reed, Lee Westwood (Eng)

14:48 Henrik Stenson (Swe), Kim Si-woo (Kor), Jordan Spieth

14:59 Louis Oosthuizen (SA), Justin Rose (Eng), Justin Thomas

Friday's forecast

This is tomorrow's forecast, according to the BBC website.

If you're teeing off first then you are one of the lucky ones. I'll bring you a list of start times shortly.

WEATHER
BBC

'I am right back in the tournament'

McIlroy +1

Rory
PA

Rory McIlroy speaking to BBC Sport: “I am proud of myself for hanging in there, staying as positive as I could. I wasn’t very positive, my caddie JP was a big help, he kept me as positive as possible out there and tried to remind me I won this thing before and not to feel any pressure, to play my game and you will be ok. The last 12 holes that is what I did.

"I was down on myself, disheartened with some of my shots. It is so hard to see good stuff in practice and not happen for you on the course. The last 12 holes came together better for me. I can bring the feeling from the last 12 holes into the rest of the week now.

"I am pretty close judging by last the 12 holes I just played. After six I felt out of it and it looked like another weekend off. But after the next 12 holes I am right back in the tournament. It shows how fickle golf can be. I feel like I have found something out here these last 12 holes and I have to try and go with it for the rest of the week."

As the late starters filter in, it's safe to say that was a day with plenty going on. Ian Poulter got out sharp, Jordan Spieth played as steadily as a chess Grandmaster and Rory McIlroy got into a fight with himself, overpowering a woeful opening to carve out something respectable.

Big putts for big money

The Open prize money
.

Prize money at the Open has been a big deal this year because for the first time, the winner will be paid in US dollars. Around $1.8m converts to some £1.4m give or take.

Whatever the currency it will be a lot more than the £1,400 Arnold Palmer got for winning in 1961 or the £2,100 Jack Nicklaus got for his first Open win.

Also of note is the fact than in 10 years since Tiger Woods won £500,000 for victory, the winner's share has almost trebled.

Bogey for Rafa

Cabrera-Bello (-3)

Rafa Cabrera-Bello finishes his opening round with a bogey at the 18th.

The Spaniard will be disappointed with that, having had the chance to join the overnight leaders on day one.

Instead, it's a three-under-par 67 that leaves him two strokes off the lead.

No penalty for Rahm

Rahm (-1)

There will be no penalty for Jon Rahm on the 17th hole, says Press Association golf correspondent Phil Casey.

The Spaniard also escaped a penalty when he won the Irish Open earlier this year.

Then, Rahm was four clear on the 13th fairway when a query over his ball marking on the sixth green caused a concern.

But no penalty was imposed and the 22-year-old went on to finish six shots ahead of Richie Ramsay and Matthew Southgate.

No penalty for Rahm. Sounds familiar. #TheOpen

Nothing Bland about Richard's round...

Bland (-3 after 18)

Ged Scott

BBC Sport at Royal Birkdale

Hampshire's Richard Bland has only played one in Open Championship before, also here at Royal Birkdale in 1998, when he matched the score of five major winners, Paul Azinger, Padraig Harrington, Bernhard Langer, Paul Lawrie and the great Tom Watson - but missed the cut by three shots.

On his return to the West Lancashire coast 19 years later, the 44-year-old from Southampton ended the day a lot higher up the leaderboard, on three-under 67, after finishing with three straight birdies.

The only downside was being one of the lucky few chosen at the end of his round for a random drugs test. The same fate as his Hampshire colleague Justin Rose, the world number 14, half an hour earlier.

"I got hauled in for that too," grinned Bland, joking: "They must have got a vendetta against Hampshire golfers."

Unwanted landmark...

Mickelson (+3)

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Highlights on BBC Two now

Ken Brown

BBC Sport commentator at Royal Birkdale

Tune it to watch the best of what has been a superb day’s play. Great crowds, great course and the sun has shone.

Ian Poulter got off to a flying start in cold conditions this morning. He looked more confident on the greens and his round of three-under 67 as one of the earlier starters was tremendous.

Jordan Spieth said he was a nine out of 10 in every department today and you can’t disagree, his was a glorious round of golf. Near flawless, he was a man in complete command of his game. Fellow American Brooks Koepka had one of those days on the greens, holing absolutely everything.

England's Paul Casey has been playing some nice steady golf for a quite a while now. He turns 40 tomorrow, so it’s big day all round for him.

The day’s disappointment was obviously Rory McIlroy's start. He has made a brilliant battling comeback, though, after his nightmare beginning to keep himself in there.

What more could you ask for?

BBC Two

'My caddie gave me a talking to'

McIlroy +1

Rory McIlroy has been talking to BBC Radio 5 live after his round of two halves. He took 39 for the first nine and 32 for the second.

"I am just trying to remember the last 12 holes and scrub the rest out of my mind," he said.

"It was a rough start, I was just indecisive out there. Mentally I was not engaged and I was half caught between playing the golf shot I needed to and my golf swing.

"My caddie JP gave me a talking to on the sixth tee which helped to keep me positive. He tried to remind me who I was and I had won this tournament before. He told me not to feel any pressure and to play my game and I started to play my game after that. It was nice to make birdies coming in. At least I feel I got myself back out of the hole I was in and get back into the tournament.

"I'm encouraged about what I saw on the back nine and will try and go out and do it all again tomorrow and limit the mistakes. I played 12 good holes and hopefully that will keep the run going."

Chances gone...

Mickelson (+3) Leishman (-1)

Phil Mickelson starts his shot on the 18th fairway left and in she comes, drawing beautifully to leave 15ft for birdie. He can't convert though and it's no birdies all day for last year's runner up.

Marc Leishman has finishes well, birdie on 17 and now he has six feet for another... misses.

Cabrera-Bello (-4 after 17)

Rafa Cabrera-Bello can't take a chance to join the leaders as his birdie putt on the 17th goes begging.

It never really had the line, drawing left too early and finishing a foot or so to the left of the pin.

He taps in for par and moves on to the 18th needing a birdie to join the clubhouse lead.

Rahm gets two-shot penalty

Rahm +2

John Murray

BBC TRadio 5 live correspondent

On the 17th, a par five, Jon Rahm hit a tee shot right in thick stuff on the left-hand side.

When he got there he moved one of the long, stringy branches of bramble and when he moved it, it was over the line of his ball.

In the end there was a ruling and he ended up a with two-shot penalty for moving an immovable object.

Jon Rahm
AFP

Westwood (+1), Rahm (+2), Reed (+3)

Lee Westwood is finishing off his round in the shadow of the grandstand at the 18th.

He's got a long, searching putt to make birdie and it flies beyond the pin, but is still greeted with warm applause from the crowd.

Jon Rahm looks furious, and not just because he's finally had to put on his jumper on for the cool Southport evening, more on that in a second...

He finishes with a par.

Lee Westwood
Reuters

Birdie

Leishman (-1 after 17) Mickelson (+3 after 17)

Marc Leishman makes his fourth birdie of the day to reach one under on 17. Phil Mickelson alongside him sends a snaking putt which leaves a tap in par. Lefty has his 46% of his fairways and 47% of his greens. Not good enough if you don's have the putter hot to bail you out.

Jordan Spieth by comparison hit over 80% of his greens in regulation.

Spot the difference

Ladies and gents, the body language of a man five over par who goes on to end the day one over par.

Rory will be bang up for tomorrow.

McIlroy
Getty Images

Cabrera-Bello (-4), Watson (-1 after 16)

There's only a handful of fans following Rafa Cabrera-Bello and co as they reach the 17th tee - most will have made for the 18th grandstand by now.

Those that have stuck with the Spaniard will also get to see Bubba Watson, complemented by pink driver and bright green golf ball.

Bubba's card is just as colourful, littered with red and blue, putting the American at one under.

'I don't mind working on my birthday'

Casey -4

BBC Radio 5 live

Paul Casey is the leading Englishman on four under par, a shot off the lead.

He has revealed that he went cycling through the Italian Dolomites to prepare for The Open.

"It is an unconventional hobby," he told BBC Radio 5 live.

"It is what I do to get away from golf. I have been banned from extreme things like snowboarding or skiing. I take cycling very seriously, it is a passion of mine and helps clear the mind. All work and no play makes Paulie a dull boy."

Casey celebrates his 40th birthday on Friday and says he can't think of a better way to mark his milestone.

"It is really cool, I have always loved this week as my birthday is around it. i don't mind working on my birthday.

"Royal Birkdale is one of my favourite links course, maybe the best in the world. I love being back in England and what a way to spend my birthday doing what I love to do and things are just getting going."

Birdie

Schwartzel (-4)

Let's all return to equilibrium after that Rory McIlroy fightback. Charl Schwartzel followed his birdie into the hole to bring up four under. A great round.

As someone who has backed Schwartzel over the years though, I am more than aware he loves nothing more than raising your hope only to throw in a couple of doubles and triples tomorrow. For now though Charl, terrific.

Speaking of those who raise your hope and fall on their face, here are some Paul Casey comments...

Charl Schwartzel
Reuters

'A phenomenal round'

McIlroy +1

Jay Townsend

BBC Radio 5 live golf expert

That was an unbelievable round to shoot 71 after the first six holes and the way he was hitting it through the first eight holes. That is a phenomenal round.

McIlroy was five over after six holes.

Birdie for McIlroy

McIlroy (+1)

Iain Carter

BBC Sport golf correspondent at Royal Birkdale

McIlroy
PA

Well done Rory McIlroy. What a fight back on the back nine. He punches the air. He is very aware of this. He fought back brilliantly and fist bumps his caddie.

McIlroy drains his 15 footer. What a round, he looked utterly lost for nine holes. You can listen to Iain by clicking 'live coverage'.

Birdie, birdie

Cabrera-Bello (-4 after 16)

All aboard the Rafa Cabrera-Bello Express.

The Spaniard has left it late, but he's chugging towards the top of that leaderboard with successive birdies at 15 and 16.

That takes him to four under par, one off the lead, with the 17th to come...

Johnson (+1)

The bright white clubhouse looks on over this 18th green as Dustin Johnson lines up a long birdie putt of around 30ft. His lean figure hunches over the ball and his touch is good, though the line is a tad off. Par and a round of 71.

The world number one has been unspectacular.

Dustin Johnson
PA

Rahm (E after 15)

Jon Rahm is rewarded for being aggressive from the rough at the 17th.

He fires one low towards the green from the longer stuff, it flirts with a greenside bunker, almost skirting the perimetre of the sand, and then nestles eight feet from the pin.

Back in the game.

McIlroy (+2 after 17) Schwartzel (-3 after 17) Johnson (+1 after 17)

The 18th fairway is where the action is right now. Charl Schwartzel first from the fairway, a brilliant strike to leave 10ft for birdie. Dustin Johnson... leaves a long putt on the dancefloor. Not a great day for the world number one. Rory McIlroy, pulls it a touch but the slope on the green brings his ball back into birdie range.

Get Involved

Tweet us on #bbcgolf

If you're just tuning in, today we saw some naughty clobber on the likes of Justin Thomas, John Daly and Jason Day. So we want your images of golfing attire, good or bad.

Ross, we like this. The gent on the right's jumper is a joy and his shin-length slacks are a garment we should all own.

Keep them coming to #bbcgolf.

View more on twitter

Na (-2 after 15)

Kevin Na nearly wiped out that double bogey at the 13th with back-to-back birdies. 'Nearly' being the operative word, the second didn't quite drop.

If he'd hovered over that putt a second longer, the Birkdale breeze might've blown it in... it was balanced that delicately on the rim of the cup.

McIlroy (+2 after 17) Mickelson (+3 after 16) Leishman (level after 16)

Mickelson
Getty Images

Golf is a strange old game isn't it. When you think of how dark Rory McIlroy's round looked at the turn, he's now a shot ahead of Phil Mickelson. Lefty has been scrapping away without the eye-catching wobbles of McIlroy yet he's three over as he walks onto the par-five 17th. He badly needs a birdie.

Marc Leishman dropped one on 16 so joins Mickelson on the tee at level par.

On 18, Rory laces his ball into the fairway. If he walks out of here with a birdie and a round of 71, he should be given the freedom of Southport after the start he had.

Lipsky's 24-shot swing...

Lipsky (-2)

David Lipsky finished a massive 22 over at the Scottish Open last week, so gave himself this advice...

I love links golf. I love links golf. I love links golf. I love links golf. I love links golf. Just need to say that to myself 10000000x...

And it seems to have worked. A few days later, and the 29-year-old American is two under after the first day.

How's that for a change in fortunes.

'McIlroy has fought back bravely'

McIlroy(+2 after 17)

Jay Townsend

BBC Radio 5 live golf expert

Coming from five over after six holes, Rory McIlroy has really fought back.

People were asking me if he should withdraw after the first round becuase he would be so far out, but he has showed a lot of heart after a terrible start.

He has fought back bravely and played a really good back nine.

That is a good birdie four and that gets him into a good position. He has a smile on his face and he knows he has played himself back into things.

Rory McIlroy
PA

McIlroy bet update...

My colleague who raised the prospect of a bet on Rory McIlroy at 100-1 is now fuming as he's into 33s and I think I talked him out of going for it when Rors was five over.

McIlroy back to +2

McIlroy (+2), Schwartzel (-3) Johnson (+1)

Charl Schwartzel goes good drive, solid second, delicate chip, tap in putt. That equals birdie on the par-five 17th. Expertly navigated.

Dustin Johnson goes booming drive, solid iron, putt from the fringe, four foot for birdie but he misses. His ball rolls around the cup and almost drops. What a waste.

And now Mr McIlroy. Super drive, iron into the heart of the green, putt he doesn't like and then a blow in for his birdie. Fighting back. Kudos sir.

Birdie

Cabrera-Bello (-3 after 15)

That's a birdie for Rafa Cabrera-Bello. The Spaniard looking as cool, calm and collected as ever.

Shades on, he skittles a putt up to within a few feet of the pin and then sinks it without even a flicker of a nerve to move to three under par with three shots to play.

A late non-American contender for the lead on day one?

Rafa Cabrera-Bello
EPA