By Simon Lewis at Carnoustie
Shane Lowry was left kicking himself after a disappointing opening round at The Open which he felt was entirely self-inflicted.
Early starter Lowry, struggling for form all season on the PGA Tour, had hoped to kickstart his 2018 campaign on this side of the Atlantic and on familiar links courses.
A tie for 28th at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open appeared to continue the world number 90’s travails a fortnight ago and Thursday’s first-round, three-over-par 74 at Carnoustie added another dose of frustration, in a round of one birdie, two bogeys and a double-bogey six at the par-four 10th.
"From 104 yards out, to take a double bogey was a kick in the you-know-whats,” Lowry said.
"In a tournament like this, you do that and you can't compete.
Lowry was eight shots behind early clubhouse leader Kevin Kisner of the United States, who threw down the gauntlet in benign conditions with a sparkling five-under 66, one ahead of South African Erik van Rooyen, who had led the Irish Open after 54 holes before finishing tied for fourth.
Reigning champion Jordan Spieth, hoping to become the first back-to-back Open winner since Padraig Harrington in 2007 and 08, got his title defence off to fast start, racing to three under as he approached the difficult final four holes while leading Irish hope Rory McIlroy got his challenge up and running with a birdie at the third.
Fellow Irishman Paul Dunne, who as an amateur led The Open in 2015 after 54 holes, had to be satisfied with an even-par 71.