The Open 2011: Richard McEvoy pleased at his Open debut

By Ged ScottBBC Sport at Royal St George's
Richard McEvoy
McEvoy hits birdies at 7, 10 and 17

Essex golfer Richard McEvoy was pleased with his first-ever round at an Open Championship as he carded a one-under 69 at Royal St George's.

"It was fantastic," McEvoy told BBC Sport. "It's just brilliant to be here. There were a few nerves floating around but I was out there to enjoy myself.

"If I can carry on swinging it like I was today then I could be up there."

But fellow Essex golfer Simon Khan was a little disappointed with a one-over 71 on the first morning at Sandwich.

Khan rattled up 17 pars at Sandwich, dropping his only shot of the round when he missed from six feet at 15.

But he admitted: "Although overall I'm happy and it's a start, I'm actually disappointed as I played nicely.

"When I had my birdie chances I didn't take them. It's all about momentum and holing a couple early on would helps."

In form after a fifth place in France a fortnight ago, Khan will still be handily placed when his starts his second round, again paired with 1994 Open champion Todd Hamilton, at 1204 BST on Friday.

But the amiable Arsenal-supporting 39-year-old from Epping, who gave his career a new lease of life when he won the PGA at Wentworth in May 2010, still wore a rueful smile after failing to make it a Faldo-like 18 straight pars.

Simon Khan
Khan carded a first round of one-over on the 70-par course

"I thought it was going to do 18 straight pars," he said. "But then I missed that six-footer on 15."

In contrast to Khan, McEvoy's card had more fluctuations, trading a dropped shot at the first and another at the ninth for three birdies - at 7, 10 and 17.

"I think that dropped shot at the first actually helped me in a way," admitted the 32-year-old European Tour player from Shoeburyness.

"I got a little bit nervy on the first tee but, from that moment on, I enjoyed every minute of it.

"It's my first major. If I shoot a score, then that's great."

McEvoy has a long wait between rounds, however, as his Friday tee time is not until 1538 BST.