Two-time Open champion Padraig Harrington admits he will probably have to shoot three rounds in the mid-60s if he is to have a chance of claiming a third Claret Jug.
The Dubliner shot a one-over 73 in ideal scoring conditions on the first day at St Andrews, leaving himself already 10 shots behind leader Rory McIlroy.
Harrington’s round did not begin well when he chipped into the Swilken Burn with only his second shot on the way to a double-bogey six and things did not improve much after that.
“I did all the superfluous things well and all the important things badly: you have to hit your wedges close and hole your putts and I did neither of those things and paid the price,” said the 38-year-old.
“Starting the way I did, hitting a very poor chip shot, I was always trying to get back into it.
“I was treading water while everyone else was going forward. All day nothing was happening for me.
“I know I need to play well from here on but there are 54 holes and I just need to score a bit better.
“But I probably need three rounds in the mid-60s between now and Sunday.
“I also need to get the right side of the draw. I know the leader is also on my side but I need to play 72 holes.
“I don’t have much chance if I don’t get through tomorrow but I wouldn’t be unhappy if it was sunny tomorrow afternoon, for example.”