Kevin Kisner is a surprise early leader at the British Open

"How would you feel playing with him?" Everyone acts like this is the first time I've been bandaged up. We're all nervous. We all have to battle those nerves.

In our exclusive video, John Hopkins details how Van de Velde came to grief on an unforgiving finish to one of golf's toughest courses.

In a Ryder Cup year the European challenge looks weak by comparison in the only major played outside the United States.

Right now, he's five strokes behind the early leader, Kevin Kisner, though there is still a lot of golf to be played.

After surviving a final-day wobble to beat compatriot Matt Kuchar by three strokes previous year, Spieth begins his defence of the Claret Jug at 9:58am, going out with England's Justin Rose and Kiradech Aphibarnrat of Thailand. The 29-year-old has also finished no higher than 29th in his past three Open Championship appearances, but turned in a second-place performance in 2014. I doubt Kisner will be more than a shot off the pace when teeing off at 12.53pm and he may well still lead. Woods is still figuring out the driver (he doesn't need it much this week) and his putting has been a problem for much of this comeback.

Tiger Woods tees off on the sixth hole during a practice round for the 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie. None of the seven players to better -2 were trading below [100.0] pre-tournament, with Tony Finau the only one below [250.0]. Woods spoke, meaningfully, for just short of 15 minutes. Woods said his neck has "been bugging me for a while", and when he felt discomfort on the range he made a decision to wear the kinesiology tape.

"I hadn't seen a weather change like that of all my years on Tour, not like that, not that quickly".

But just as we've seen time and time again with Woods since his latest return, he couldn't hold the momentum.

He said later: "I was very solid all the way round".

Discussing this year's Open as his best chance for another major, Woods said: "As far as long term, certainly, I would say yes because of the fact that you don't have to be long to play on a links-style golf course, and look what Tom (Watson) did at Turnberry at 59, I believe he was", Woods said. That's how he plays because he has had, like Jack Nicklaus before him, the talent not to be overly aggressive. Yet Thursday, during the first round of a major championship that he is capable of winning, he thought, "I'm out here with Tiger for five hours, I might as well talk to him".

Woods said that the discomfort didn't really affect his swing, other than a few shots "here and there". He has all the skill to win a major and could break through this week at Carnoustie. Knox (73) is trying to win his first. Hopefully for his sake, this one turns out better than that one did. But if Woods has proved anything in his long career, these tournaments are 72 holes, and sometimes longer. I talked to him about the clubs, had a good chat about that.

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