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The 149th Open Royal St George's

Best Photos from Thursday


Nikon Image Gallery

Justin Rose playing a shot next to the Starter

Thursday brought us the first round of Open Championship golf in two years, and there were some beautiful photos. Explore the Nikon Image Gallery here.

Richard Bland got proceedings under way at 6:35am in the morning. The sun was shining, and the stands had plenty of enthusiastic spectators ready for the return of golf. You can also see just how wonderful it is to have fans back, with a packed grandstand watching on as Tommy Fleetwood tees off.

Staying in the fairway off those tees is vital at Royal St George's too, as Brooks Koepka found out early in his round, but if you happen to get lucky like Justin Rose, you can make the most of it, as he hit a superb approach to the 18th from the iconic Starter's Hut!

Plenty of starters in the morning had good rounds, and Andy Sullivan, off in the first group, was one of those. But no player had a better round than Louis Oosthuizen.

A round the South African described as 'perfect' on the Sandwich links, a 64 for the 2010 Champion Golfer of the Year leaves him standing as the sole leader after the first round on six under. A lovely chip on the fourth was important, and an enjoyable round with playing partner and defending Champion Shane Lowry was helpful too.

Behind him is Brian Harman at five under, and Jordan Spieth, who had an entertaining day's play with Bryson DeChambeau.

It was a wonderful day on the Kentish links, and we can expect three more to come.