There hasn't been much noise on the leaderboard so far this morning, but Tommy Fleetwood is in the red with back-to-back birdies to get him to one-under.
The four-time major victor is back at Carnoustie for the first time in 11 years after winning the Silver Medal for the best amateur as a teenager at the Open in 2007.
Woods, 42, began his round with two pieces of kinesiology tape adhered to the back of his neck after it felt a little stiff when he woke up, his camp told USA Today's Steve DiMeglio. On-course leaderboards were stagnant the entire afternoon because just a small handful of players in the afternoon wave managed under-par rounds and none came close to matching Kisner's 66 in the 7:52 a.m. pairing. He seems completely dialed in just like the old days, presumably because this comeback isn't new anymore and he's getting exhausted of top-10 finishes while his career wins total remains at 79. A relatively unknown player in Erik van Rooyen took the lead early but was later passed by Kevin Kisner, who finished the day at five-under and now sits alone at the top of the leaderboard.
He then rolled in the short putt for the gutsiest of par saves.
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Woods, 42, is a three-time victor of the Claret Jug and he believes that the unique conditions of links golf could offer him his best chance to add to his haul. I feel like my game is made for championship golf and I'm getting better each year and I know what to expect at this point of my career.
"The front nine was promising".
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"You've got to kind of hang in out there and hope to make a few birdies every now and again. Back nine obviously wasn't what I was after".
Three Aussies - Adam Scott, Jason Day and Cameron Davis - finished at even-par 71 through the first round, five shots from the lead held by Kisner.
He missed fairways often because he deliberately played for one side or the other so that he could better attack pin positions tucked near the edges of greens. "He plowed his way around, which I expected him to, and he was very conservative off the tee", Knox said.
"Different players are going to have a different way to see how they're going to play this golf course, " McIlroy said. You know, not great when you're not seeing too many birdies. World No. 1 Dustin Johnson took a triple bogey seven at the final hole for a 76 after his second shot bounded hard just left of the green and kicked through the out-of-bounds fence.
Kisner's best score in three previous trips to the British Open was a 69 in the final round a year ago at Royal Birkdale. The firm, crusty conditions are not entirely new.
"Worked really hard on my speed, which is always the hardest thing for us to get accustomed to here, " he said. "And the ball started coming off on the line, and when I'm doing that, I feel like I can hole them all".