Lytham - Tiger Woods made back-to-back birdies to seize sole possession of the first-round lead at the 141st British Open on Thursday at four under-par with half the groups yet to tee off at Royal Lytham.
Woods, a 14-time major champion chasing the all-time record of 18 major titles won by Jack Nicklaus, has won three times this year but has not won a major crown since the 2008 US Open.
Woods sank a 10-foot birdie putt on the par-3 first, followed with a 20-footer at the fourth, added a 15-foot birdie at the sixth and birdied the par-5 seventh to reach four-under.
Australian Adam Scott, aided by former Woods caddie Steve Williams, and reigning Masters champion Bubba Watson of the United States shared second at three-under par.
Former British Open champion Paul Lawrie of Scotland, former US Open champion Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland, former Masters champion Zach Johnson and Thailand's Thongchai Jaidee were on two-under.
Brazil's Adilson Da Silva and England's Matthew Baldwin, both playing in the second group out, fired one-under par 69s to seize the early clubhouse lead.
Da Silva overcame a double bogey at the third hole and a bogey at the fourth with third birdies in a row starting at the par-5 11th and added another at 17.
Baldwin followed a bogey at the par-3 fifth with birdies at the par-5 seventh and par-3 ninth, but began the back nine with three bogeys in a row, only to birdie 14, 16 and 18 to crack par for the day.