The focus may have been on Paul Lawrie's first shot of the day as he was awarded his 150th Open start,

but it was his penultimate shot that nearly created an even bigger story. After all, the 1999 winner was not far from ending

the first round with a spectacular hole-in-one when his tee shot on the par-4 18th ended up just five feet short of the hole.

To the delight of the fans in the giant stands behind the green, the eagle opportunity was not wasted and Lawrie carded a 74 over par.

He felt the result was "tough" based on how he actually played, but for many reasons it was a morning he will cherish forever.

"It's just a nice thing to be asked," he said of being asked to hit the opening shot, much like he did here in 2010 in the milestone tournament.

“It's nice to have it here and it's a nice big wide fairway. I like my chances down there with the 3-iron for me too.

“I'm always nervous on the first tee. It's always something I've always been. But I wasn't sick this morning. And I put a nice swing on it and it fell down the fairway.