Only two players were under par, led by Poulter at 2 under through five holes.
The 23-year-old former U.S. Masters and U.S. Open victor carded a bogey-free round in tricky, but not treacherous, conditions. "It's just about keeping it consistent".
"I was chomping at the bit to get back, kind of those last few days at home", he said.
'I thought today's round was extremely important, as they all are, but given the forecast coming in, I thought you really needed to be in the red (under par) today, ' the 23-year-old said.
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But after hitting just five of 14 fairways, Spieth acknowledged there was room for improvement as he looks to add the Open title to his Masters and US Open victories in 2015.
Ian Poulter and Justin Thomas were among the golfers who finished their first round at three-under, just two strokes behind Spieth and Koepka.
"Across the board, I would call it "nine out of 10" and if that's the case it is going to be a really good score". Others think Spieth is flawless for Royal Birkdale, or that Dustin Johnson will vindicate his No. 1 world ranking with a win. "I am trying to take it back with really good tempo, trying to go a little further back than I would in the States". "I was excited to get over here".
I'm not happy with the situation and I'm not happy with the players I'm likely to be considering taking positions about if they post a decent score and the weather worsens. Defending champion Henrik Stenson and Jason Day shot one-under 69s and are just four back. I wanted to have those juices flowing.
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Kuchar had it going in a big way in the afternoon, making the turn in that magical 29.
Despite avoiding a dropped shot on his card, Spieth was grateful for his short-game prowess around the greens, including a good escape on the par-four 10th when he could not find the putting surface with his second shot. It seemed like the later your tee time the better draw you got.
When I opened the curtains this morning, I felt sure I'd be busy trading this afternoon and this evening and that I'd have a clear picture of how things might pan out but I don't. Koepka was the seventh straight first-time victor of a major.
"I was disappointed early in the round not to make more of it". "I think you go down this entire list of players, I think every one thinks: 'If I put the week together, it could be me at the end of the week holding the trophy.' I know I've been around a while, but I also feel like I'm in about the prime of my golfing career".
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