Toms got off to a quick start with birdies on three and five. The former LSU standout finished the front nine with a third birdie offset by one bogey, netting a 2 under 34 at the turn.
The back nine was a rollercoaster that began with a birdie-bogey start on the first two holes. Toms double bogeyed two of the final six holes, including the famed Road Hole on 17.
Toms finished the day eight strokes behind current leader Tiger Woods, who shot an opening 66. Tiger's day began perfectly as he birdied seven of the first 12 holes.
Woods' chase for the Claret Jug resumes at the location of his last British Open triumph. It was four years ago he set the all-time major record for a score under par with a 72 hole total of 269 (19 under). On the way to trumping the field, Woods failed to hit any one of the course's 112 bunkers.
This year's Open edition is significant also in marking the end of an era as Jack Nicklaus will tee it up in his major finale. The man who has won a record 18 major championships will fittingly end his run at the Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews.
Nicklaus finished his opening round shooting 75, only one stroke behind Toms. Other notable names near the top include Retief Goosen (68), Sergio Garcia (3 under through 10), Vijay Singh (2 under through 12), Phil Mickelson (1 under through 14) and Ernie Els (2 over through 16). Also, U.S. Open champion Michael Campbell is in contention as he's authored a 3-under-par effort through 17 holes.
Last year's British Open champion was American Todd Hamilton.
Toms finishes ‘rough' to shoot opening 74
Tiger Blitz Top Stories
New Tiger Blitz members receive a great perk!Another great partnership from the folks at Scout.com brings a big benefit to new Tiger Blitz/Scout members!
Tiger Blitz11:18 AM
Game Preview: LSU vs. Ole MissTiger Blitz previews LSU's SEC matchup against rival Ole Miss on Saturday night in Death Valley with predictions, matchups to watch, game notes, and more!
Tiger Blitz4:00 AM
LSU Depth Chart is Settled for Ole Miss gameWith LSU's matchup against Ole Miss looming on Saturday night, coach Ed Orgeron met with the media to update injuries, players making moves on the depth chart and about how big of…
Tiger BlitzYesterday at 4:36 PM
LSU Tigers Linebackers Wish ListTiger Blitz has done some digging and breaks down the top linebacker targets LSU is currently pursuing in the 2017 class.
Tiger BlitzYesterday at 3:00 PM