Low scoring, a leading logjam and some Scottish love affairs were the order of the day as the Rolex Series rolled into The Renaissance Club.
Here is everything you need to know from day one of the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open.
Molinari among leading quartet
With early heavy rain softening the course and the wind not arriving until late in the day, there were some very low scores on the East Lothian coast. Edoardo Molinari, a two time winner in Scotland, was among a group of four leading players that also included his fellow Italian Nino Bertasio, Frenchman Romain Wattel and American Matt Kuchar. Those four were at eight under and the top 74 players were separated by just five shots, with 118 of the field under par. The wind could well arrive over for the rest of the week but if you didn't go low on Thursday, you were left playing catch up.
Donaldson eyes Portrush return
The Northern Irish players may be excited about next week's Open Championship being at Royal Portrush Golf Club but so is Welshman Jamie Donaldson. The 2014 Ryder Cup hero won the Irish Open over the layout in 2012 and is aiming for one of the three places available this week to the top three players in the top ten not already exempt. “To play next week would be huge,” he said. “If I can get into a position to get in that would be just fantastic and I would be really, really buzzing to get back there. It has been tough getting going again after seven months out, the momentum is not quite there but it’s a case of keeping going until you start to put it all together again.” He was seven under after round one.
Sullivan enjoying his golf again
Also seven under was Andy Sullivan, fresh off a tie for second in Ireland last week. He had got to eight under after an eagle on the 16th and four birdies in a row from the second but dropped a shot on the eighth, although that did not take the edge off for a player who is back in form and enjoying his golf. "Playing bad sucks," he said. "But you do learn a lot. You learn a lot more when you are playing bad and you learn when the good stuff comes and I'm going to really enjoy it again. That's what I've been doing the last few weeks, really playing with a smile on my face and going out there and enjoying it. Hopefully as long as that can continue, I'll continue shooting good scores."
MacIntyre enjoys star company
Robert MacIntyre is fast becoming a star in his own right but even he would admit he is not quite yet at the level of Rory McIlroy and Rickie Fowler. The home hero teed it up alongside the Ryder Cup stalwarts on Thursday and finished just one shot behind McIlrioy, beating Fowler by three. "It was brilliant," he said. "I've not yet thought about what I could have done better, what I've learned yet, but I'll do that later on tonight. To get in at three under par playing with these two guys, I'd say it's pretty good. Even this morning, all I'm thinking about is that first tee, meeting the two guys. Luckily I met Rickie on Monday but meeting Rory, these are guys I've watched over the years, and Rory winning Majors. So to get put into that bracket for the day was absolutely brilliant. I'm sure I'll learn a lot. It's a day that I'll never forget."
Chase the ace
Most events on the European Tour don't get one hole-in-one all week, never mind two in the same day, but on Thursday we had two on the same hole. All the more remarkable was that Kalle Samooja's ace was his second of the season. Trevor Immelman then also aced the 15th to make it 18 on the European Tour this season.