Tiger Woods' chances of winning a second Open title were hampered by an untidy opening round at Sandwich.
The 27-year-old shot a 73 which started with a seven and contained three consecutive bogeys.
The world number one found himself at four over with four to play but courageous birdies at the 15th and 16th gave him a measure of respectability.
"It was a long, tough day," said the Floridian.
"I putted well but I just didn't give myself enough chances. You don't have to shoot a low number but you have to be patient and stay calm."
Woods lost his opening shot and his problems throughout centred around his work from the tee.
"I got off to a terrible start and just had to battle back from there."
"I've kept myself in the tournament," Woods said.
had 17 holes to get it back. At least I got one back.
"I hit my driver awful, really awful."
After his poor start Woods regathered himself although at one stage he ballooned out to four-over.
But long birdie putts at 15 and 16 put him in a more positive frame of mind for the rest of the tournament and within striking distance.
"If I can drive it a little bit better, I like the way I'm playing overall," Woods said.