Inverness golfer Russell Knox admitted he struggled to cope with the pressure of playing alongside his hero Tiger Woods during the first round of The Open at Carnoustie.
The Ryder Cup hopeful, who won the Irish Open earlier this month, three-putted the 18th for a two-over-par 73 to trail overnight leader Kevin Kisner by seven strokes.
It was the first time Knox had partnered 14-time major winner Woods, who shot level par on his Open return, and the Scot conceded he found it difficult to remain focused during the round.
Knox said: “I played dreadful. My short game kept me in there but I didn’t feel normal, which was understandable.
“I threw one away at the last but to finish two-over with the way I played was a decent effort.
“He’s the best golfer of all time. He’s definitely the person I looked up to. So getting to play with him is pretty unique.
“He’s a person I’ve seen on the range in the past and he is almost like a mythical figure.
“I knew it was going to be an uncomfortable round. It was never going to feel like I was out playing with my buddies and just free-wheeling it.
“I’m playing in The Open in Scotland with my hero.
“I had a lot of support out there so that was really cool. It was an honour to play The Open in my own country at one of the most iconic courses in the world with my hero. It was a dream come true.”
Kisner has a one shot lead after taking advantage of the calmer morning conditions to shoot a five-under 66 with Erik van Rooyen, Tony Finau and Zander Lombard just a stroke behind.
World number one Dustin Johnson has work to do to make the cut after struggling to a five-over 76, while defending champion Jordan Spieth will also be looking for a low one today after opening with a 72.
Stonehaven amateur Sam Locke impressed on his maiden major appearance. The 19-year-old shot the lowest score of the five Scottish representatives after sinking a 15-foot birdie putt at the 18th for a round of 72.
Sandy Lyle, who had the honour of getting play under way at 6.35am, and Scott Jamieson both finished four over par after rounds of 75, while Grant Forrest shot an 80.