Kirk Triplett and Thaworn Wiratchant carded matching 65s on Thursday at the Old Course at St Andrews to secure a share of the 18-hole lead at the 2018 Senior Open.
Triplett finished his day at the iconic links course in Scotland with a blemish-free card comprised of seven birdies and 11 pars.
“It’s really unique over here,” said Triplett. “When the bounces go your way, it’s really fun. I’m sure at some point this week we’ll find out if I can handle the bad bounces too.
“I have a local caddie this week. I’m really uncertain out there and that’s one of the reasons I wanted a local guy this week.”
Co-leader Wiratchant, meanwhile, signed for a card which included seven pars, along with two bogeys offset by a field-best nine birdies, including five-straight gains on hole Nos. 3-7.
“I didn’t think I could play like this on this course, it’s incredible,” said Wiratchant, the all-time Asian Tour winner.
“I’m not sure which part of my game suits this course because it’s very difficult. But today I was perfect. I only three-putted on two holes, but that’s normal on a course like this.”
Paul McGinley and Stephen Ames were one back at 6-under 66.
Defending champion Bernhard Langer, along with Scott McCarron and David Toms, were one further back at 67.
“I had a really good start,” said Langer. “I got to four under really quickly and then five under but made two bogeys; otherwise I played fairly solid. It was a pleasure playing with Tom Watson, as it always is.
“I told him on the 18th, he’s still hitting a lot of solid shots and you can see why he won so many Opens and other titles around the world.”
Five-time Open champion Tom Watson shot a 70.
TOP 5 LEADERS
1. Kirk Triplett -7
1. Thaworn Wiratchant -7
3. Paul McGinley -6
3. Stephen Ames -6
5. Bernhard Langer -5
5. Scott McCarron -5
5. David Toms -5
VIDEO: JAMES GOES O.B. VIA SEAGULL
Mark James’ tee shot on No. 17 at St Andrews hit a seagull mid-flight, causing the ball to ricochet out-of-bounds section.
“I got to four under really quickly and then five under but made two bogeys; otherwise I played fairly solid. It was a pleasure playing with Tom Watson, as it always is.”
– Bernhard Langer