World number two Rory McIlroy reckons some of the sting has been taken out of Carnoustie.
The Northern Irishman carded a two-under-par round of 70, which included a double bogey seven at Hogan’s Alley.
The four-time major winner made his Open debut as an amateur at Carnoustie in 2007 but feels the course has become less challenging in recent years.
He said: “I think Carnoustie over the years has gotten a little easier.
“They have taken a lot of the gorse bushes out where you really had to think about some tee shots, even when I first started to play here.
“And now, with trying to accommodate a lot of spectators for The Open championship, they have taken a lot of the gorse out, which makes a lot of the tee shots easier.
“I think that’s probably why you’re seeing a few lower scores around Carnoustie than you’re used to seeing.
“It is so different (the course set-up for the Dunhill Links).
“Even teeing off at the 10th hole this morning, at The Open we’re worried about driver going into the burn, and today, you’re trying to hit driver as far up as possible so you can get an 8 or a 9-iron in your hand.”
While McIlroy is sitting tied 78th in the individual tournament, he is better-placed in the pro-am team event with his father Gerry.
They are tied 49th on seven under and the McIlroys enjoyed their 18 holes together.
The 30-year-old added: “As all dads do sometimes, he can start to get on my nerves a bit out there.
“But for the most part, it’s been brilliant, and it’s great to have him out here.
“He loves it, and he played well.
“He bettered me by five. His goal for the week was to better me by four a day, 16 for the week and I think we have a decent chance.
“I could have made a few more birdies, and then I made seven on the 6th hole, which was not ideal.
“I hit a tee shot just a little bit left and went out of bounds.”
There is a three-way tie at the top of the pro-am event with Kristoffer Reitan and Mark Madden, Ryan Fox and Shane Warne, and Shubhankar Sharma and Johan van Zyl all 12 under. Justin Rose and Justin Timberlake are tied 85th on five under.