The Open Birdies aplenty on first morning of The Open at St Andrews.

Birdies were easy to come by at St Andrews as benign conditions greeted the early starters on day one of The Open.

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David Lingmerth and Thomas Bjorn were among those to exploit benign conditions in a birdie-laden start to The Open at St Andrews.

Heavy rain and strong winds are expected to make low scoring difficult later in the week, but the early starters on Thursday were treated to a calm morning and the ideal opportunity to prosper on a course softened up by recent wet weather.

Sweden's Lingmerth, winner of last month's Memorial Tournament on the PGA Tour, wasted little time in taking advantage, birdieing the first four holes to assume the lead.

Bjorn, another Scandinavian and twice an Open runner-up, soon joined Lingmerth after picking up four shots between the fourth and eighth in an outward nine of 32.

Yet another birdie at the sixth saw Lingmerth out on his own again at five under and perfectly placed to post a superb score.

Irish amateur Paul Dunne was another to enjoy early success, gains at the first, second and fifth lifting him into third at three under alongside Greg Owen and Robert Streb.

Masters and U.S. Open champion Jordan Spieth, Tiger Woods - a two-time Open winner at St Andrews - and Louis Oosthuizen, the victor the last time the tournament was held here in 2010, were also set to begin their rounds early on day one.

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