Howell makes flying start

David Howell and Edoardo Molinari made the most of the perfect scoring conditions at Hoylake at the start of the 143rd Open Championship.

Howell, a former Ryder Cup ace, hit the first tee shot in bright sunshine at 6.25am local time, and although the 39-year-old bogeyed the first hole, he carded three successive birdies from the third to move to two-under and with that, the early lead.

He was soon joined by Molinari, who notched birdies on his first two holes.

The first eagle of the day was carded by South African Dawie van der Walt at the 528-yard fifth.

That soon became a trend, though, as Swede Freddie Jacobsen, local amateur Ashley Chesters, Australian Marc Leishman and Thai Kiradech Aphibarnrat all managed that feat.