The Latest: Montgomerie rallies from double bogey

Jordan Spieth of the United States smiles as he look at his putt on the 18th green during a practice round ahead of the British Open Golf Championship at the Royal Troon Golf Club in Troon, Scotland, Wednesday, July 13, 2016. The British Open starts Thursday.(AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
Peter Morrison/AP

TROON, Scotland (AP) The Latest on the British Open (all times local):

8:30 a.m.

Colin Montgomerie has recovered brilliantly from his double bogey to start the British Open.

The 53-year-old Scot, playing in perhaps his last Open, caught a buried lie in pot bunker and began with a double bogey. But the scowl soon turned into a smile when Montgomerie ran off five birdies in seven holes to make the turn at 3-under par.

Justin Thomas made his British Open debut with birdies on his opening three holes and also was at 3 under.

Luke Donald, playing alongside Montgomerie in the first group, was at 2 under.

Most encouraging of all: The lead threesome took just under two hours to complete the front nine.

7:25 a.m.

The Irish Sea was blue from abundant sunshine. The British Open leaderboard already was filled with red scores.

With virtually no wind to start the 145th Open, the gentle outward nine at Royal Troon was living up to its reputation as the time to get birdies. There already were eight birdies in the first 21 holes completed, with Sanghee Lee of South Korea making birdie on the opening two holes.

Colin Montgomerie started with a buried lie in a pot bunker on No. 1 and made double bogey. He might want to heed his own advice. Speaking of how easy the front nine is at Royal Troon, the Scot once famously said if a player is not under par at the turn, he might as well keep walking to Prestwick and have lunch in the clubhouse.

Prestwick, site of the first 12 British Opens, is adjacent to Royal Troon.

6:45 a.m.

The British Open began Thursday with Colin Montgomerie hitting the opening tee shot on the Royal Troon links where his father once was club secretary.

Montgomerie, widely considered the best player to have never won a major, qualified at age 53 for what likely will be his last Open. The R&A chose him to be the first player to hit a shot on a gorgeous morning along the Irish Sea.

There wasn't an empty seat in the grandstand next to the first tee, where the silver claret jug was on a podium. Five dogs were on the beach.

There was no wind, allowing the early starters to take aim at one of the shorter courses on the Open rotation. Montgomerie teed off with Marc Leishman and Luke Donald.