Golf: Surging Jordan Spieth, Brooks Koepka out in front in British Open

Jordan Spieth (left) and Brooks Koepka are the early leaders in the first round of the British Open with 65s.
Jordan Spieth (left) and Brooks Koepka are the early leaders in the first round of the British Open with 65s. PHOTO: EPA, REUTERS

LONDON (AFP) - World No. 3 Jordan Spieth shot a flawless five-under 65 to take a share of the clubhouse lead at the British Open in the first round on Thursday.

Spieth, who won the Masters and the US Open in 2015 and is still only 23, had five birdies, including two in a row just before the turn, and no bogeys to position himself at the top of the leaderboard.

He is not alone, though, with reigning US Open champion Brooks Koepka also shooting 65.

In his case, the only blip came with a bogey at No. 16 but he promptly recovered with an eagle at the long 17th.

That duo are two shots ahead of England's Ian Poulter, who had a 67 on his return to the venue where he came runner-up in 2008, and the American Justin Thomas.

Lurking at two-under are Japan's world No. 2 Hideki Matsuyama, Sweden's Alex Noren, the world No. 9, and Welshman Stuart Manley, the 38-year-old making his debut at a Major championship.