England: Englishman Barry Lane got the 141st British Open underway in front of hundreds of spectators who braved the drizzly conditions on Thursday when he hit onto the green at the 205-yard par-three first hole.

Former Ryder Cup player Lane three-putted for a bogey while American playing partner James Driscoll, among the last competitors to leave the practice range in the Wednesday evening sun, started brightly by holing a lengthy birdie putt.

South African Garth Mulroy began with a par.

Lane, 52, had been in Michigan for the U.S. Senior Open and only arrived in Lytham on Tuesday for his 15th Open having previously missing the cut at the Lancashire links in 1988 and 1996 and finishing 30th in 2001.

Favourite Tiger Woods is among the early starters, going out at 0942 local time (0842 GMT) with England's Justin Rose and Sergio Garcia of Spain.

Defending champion Darren Clarke is also going out early alongside former winner Ernie Els of South Africa and American Zach Johnson.

World number one Luke Donald must wait until the afternoon before setting out with four time major champion Phil Mickelson and Australian Geoff Ogilvy.


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