Linksland love draws the best from shot-maker Jordan Spieth on Thursday at the Open

The American carded a superb 5-under-par 65 in round one of the 149th Open at Royal St George’s.

Links golf is apt to make those who relish playing it sound more than a little devotional.

Because, for those with a creative spirit, it lifts the soul.

That sounds a little far-fetched, but it's undoubtedly true.

Golf by the seaside is a multi-dimensional test fuels the brain and clears the fog that comes from obsessing about the swing.

It's why links lovers don't need good form to produce quality golf; they can conjure it from nothing more than the inspirational surroundings.

Count Jordan Spieth among their number.

On Thursday morning he carded a 5-under-par 65 that left him tied second on the live leaderboard halfway through the day's play, one shot behind pace-setter Louis Oosthuizen.

"I've always played well at the Open, whether I've come in with form or not," he said.

"Links golf brings a lot of the feel aspect into the game. I shorten swings up over here, and hit more punch shots, and just stuff that I probably should be doing at home.

"You get less swing-focused and more shot-focused over here because the second you take your brain away from what you're hitting, you may not find your ball.

"So instead of just a driving range shot in Palm Springs, there's always some shot you have to play that gives you a little bit of an advantage or certain club selections based on whether you've hit a fade or a draw.

"There's a lot of external factors over here and I think that external is where I need to be living."

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Golfers typically apply the handbrake when offering comments about Royal St George's; praise for it is hard to find.

For a course debutant like Spieth that could easily be intimidating, but he wasn't fazed on arrival and that remains the case.

"I'm in a really good mood about it," he said. "First look I thought, 'Man, this could be a really fun, cool, tricky track.'

"It's certainly odd compared to some of the other courses, but I like it."

He's aware that the fairways are softer than in the past, and that this contrast impacted on past impressions of the courses.

"I got away with a couple tee shots in the first cut that maybe if it was firmer may have worked their way just into the fescue.

"It's a course where you have so much undulation in the fairways that if it gets firmer it gets very bounce dependent.

"The greens are also a little bit softer. The wind is up and they put a few pins in some really fun spots for us today where you could get at them in some bowls. If you hit some wedges you could feed it in. You might see some shots holed today, actually.

"But that's only a few of the holes. The rest of them, they're on some of the more difficult locations."

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He was asked if Royal Birkdale, scene of his Open win four years ago, and this week's venue have anything in common.

"I actually brought this up. Birkdale was a course that you played a lot from the air versus other Open venues. You couldn't really bounce it up a ton there and you really can't bounce it up a ton here.

"So it has similarities. You can't really get away with kind of punching five clubs extra up the entire green. You can on some holes, but there's bunkers that guard the fronts and there's a lot of false fronts here."

Here's what else Spieth had to say, plus his stats in the Open and also when making good starts.

Spieth on his 2017 form and his form now

"I think if I had played any venue in 2017, I would have won that week. I mean, I was hitting it, at that time, the best I had maybe ever hit it in my life. Here I feel for the first time since then I'm at least coming in with a bit of form, a bit of confidence, and really my start lines off the tee. I felt like I drove the ball good enough today to be able to shoot a really good score. I like where I'm at. Took a couple steps back really on the weekend at Colonial through the US Open. But I know what it was now and put in some good work over the last few weeks."

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Spieth on British and Irish galleries

"The fans are fantastic here. They're just the best in golf. I just think over here they're very knowledgeable about the sport. So, like, I may have a 5-iron into a hole and 20 feet is a fantastic shot. They just know that because they've seen it all day and they're aware of how difficult shots are versus if you hit a wedge and you really had an opportunity to get one close.

"They're also having a great time. Really the grandstands, the amphitheatre settings at this tournament is a lot of what I'm talking about. It's just a beautiful setting, all the people help the shaping a lot of the holes."

Spieth in the Open

It's easy and natural to focus on the win at Royal Birkdale in 2017, but Spieth has often played the championship well.

On debut in 2013, he was a little unprepared (and tired) having won the John Deere Classic the week before and, with it, earned late qualification. He finished T44th, but was in the top 10 after 18 holes.

A year later he was T36th, he was tied fourth, one shot outside a playoff, on the Old Course in 2015, and T30th at Royal Troon five years ago.

On defence of the Claret Jug he was tied for the 54-hole lead before finishing tied ninth and he spent most of the week at Royal Portrush in the top 10 before ending it T20th.

Spieth when making a strong start at the Majors

Assuming he remains tied fifth or better by the end of the first 18 holes, here's what has happened in such circumstances in the past.

The Open - tied for the first round lead, won.

The Masters - he's had three first round leads which have reaped one win and another two top three finishes.

READ MORE: The Open Championship: I'm ready to rock on the links again, says Rory McIlroy

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