Koepka's juices flowing at Birkdale
U.S. Open champion Brooks Koepka could feel the "juices flowing" as he marked his return to tournament play with a first-round 65 at The Open.
The American has not played since winning at Erin Hills last month, but found his rhythm very quickly at Royal Birkdale to jump into a share of the clubhouse lead with compatriot Jordan Spieth on five under, with Matt Kuchar joining them through nine.
And Koepka suggested that his four-week absence from the game had fuelled a burning desire to get back on the course.
"I was chomping at the bit to get back, kind of those last few days at home," he said.
"I was excited to get over here. I just wanted to play golf. I just wanted to get back inside the ropes. I wanted to have those juices flowing.
"Sometimes it's hard even when you're practising at home, if you're playing with buddies or just playing by yourself, [it's] really hard to get up for it.
"You just need a little bit of competitiveness and a little bit of something to get me going."
Conditions in Southport were tough for the early starters on Thursday, with dropped shots aplenty on the opening hole, where Mark O'Meara teed off first and carded a quadruple-bogey eight.
But Koepka made hay after the turn in particular, shooting a four-under 32 across the last nine holes.