GETTYJon Rahm ended the day with a 69 on the scoreboard- eventually
21 July, 2017, 09:11
As with Koepka, the last time Spieth teed it up, he won - at the Travelers Championship the week after the U.S. Open, so he felt like he was entering the week with good vibrations.
Behind them, England's Paul Casey - who came third in St Andrews in 2010 - had five birdies and one bogey in a 66 to sit at four-under.
Defending champion Henrik Stenson of Sweden, Jason Day, Marc Leishman and Adam Scott of Australia, Andrew "Beef" Johnston and Matthew Fitzpatrick of England and Jon Rahm of Spain were another stroke back at 69.
The 23-year-old former U.S. Masters and U.S. Open victor carded a bogey-free round in tricky, but not treacherous, conditions.
"It just takes a creative mind and sometimes golf can get a bit boring but I see so many shots out here where it's fun and keeps me interested and really gets me going", Koepka said.
He looked a forlorn figure when another wayward tee shot at the eighth finished in thick rough, but he holed a superb 20-foot putt to save par and looked close to his best after the turn as he finally got a birdie on his card at the 11th.
"I thought today's round was extremely important, as they all are", Spieth said, atop the leaderboard at a major for the first time since last year's Masters.
"I couldn't have done much better today". He parred the entire back nine to claim a piece of the lead.
GETTYJon Rahm thought he would have to sign for a 71 before his rule infraction was wiped off
Two of the top four players in the world, Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy, lurk at one-over after posting 71s.
Former Open champions John Daly and Darren Clarke finished with a 74 and 75, respectively, while Zach Johnson, the Open victor in 2015, struggled to a 75. With heavy rain forecast for Friday, he said getting off to a strong start was vital.
After overnight rain, the forecast calls for rain and wind with a 80 percent chance of rain and wind gusts occasionally over 40 miles per hour with more sustained rain showers later in the afternoon. There is a 90 percent chance of precipitation, according to the BBC.
Fortunately, the world No 3 produced an exquisite chip shot before holing his putt for a par and kept the momentum down the stretch of the inward nine.
"For me to start my Open with a 29 on the front nine is a great way to start", he said. He faced a potential two-shot penalty if it had.
Despite avoiding a dropped shot on his card, Spieth was grateful for his short-game prowess around the greens, including a good escape on the par-four 10th when he could not find the putting surface with his second shot.
Error! There was an error processing your request. "If I can go out and play a good, quality round of golf in the morning and try to get in the clubhouse somewhere around even par, under par, I'll still be around for the weekend".
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