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Molinari, Koepka grab early Open lead

Edoardo Molinari and Brooks Koepka held the early clubhouse lead at four under 68 in the first round of the British Open at Royal Liverpool Golf Club on Thursday.

A further stroke back after carding 69s came Robert Karlsson of Sweden, Marc Leishman,of Australia and Japan's Koumei Oda.

Edoardo Molinari and Brooks Koepka held the early clubhouse lead at four under 68 in the first round of the British Open. Photo by: Stefan Wermuth/Reuters. Credit: Reuters

The low scoring was made possible by the picture-perfect playing conditions that greeted the early starters among the 156-strong field.

Out on the course, American starlet Rickie Fowler moved to four under with a birdie at the 12th and he was joined on that mark by Spain's Sergio Garcia with a birdie at the 13th and Rory McIlroy with a birdie at the 10th.

Tiger Woods, playing just his second tournament since back surgery in late March, bogeyed the first two holes, but a birdie at four steadied his ship and he moved to level par by picking up another shot at 11.

Defending champion Phil Mickelson, world number one Adam Scott, top home hope Justin Rose and US Open champion Martin Kaymer all had afternoon tee-times.

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