A warm reception from the massive Scottish crowds and the aura of St Andrews are giving Cameron Smith “goosebumps” as he positions himself for a run at an Open Championship victory.

World No.6 Smith started the 150th edition of golf’s oldest Major with a 67, his best ever opening round at the Open. He sat at five-under-par and was just three shots back of first round leader Cameron Young (64). The American led Rory McIlroy (66) by two.

Smith was the best-placed Australian at five under, while countryman Brad Kennedy was one shot back (68). Perth native Min Woo Lee (69) overcame an early double-bogey to finish at three under, while Victoria’s Lucas Herbert (70) was two under.

Smith, the 2022 Players Championship winner, was a huge hit among the St Andrews galleries, who cheered his name on every hole. One volunteer scorer – an Englishman named Callum – said the man with the mullet had “the best hands in world golf” after Smith got up and down for birdie from a cavernous greenside bunker at the par-5 fifth.

Playing alongside four-time Major winner Brooks Koepka and Irishman Seamus Power on Thursday, Smith drained a 55-foot birdie putt at the second before adding two more birdies on the front nine.

Birdies at the 10th and 12th bookended a bogey at the par-3 11th. Smith later drove the green at the par-4 18th and two-putted for a closing birdie.

Smith expects the Open fans to get more raucous as the week goes on and the weekend beers flow and he aims to give them something to cheer for.

“It was pretty cool,” Smith said after his round. “I think it’s going to get better as the week goes on; I think the crowds might get a little bit louder. There were plenty of Aussies in the crowd, which is nice to hear.”

The 28-year-old is playing in his fifth Open but first at the Old Course. He desperately wants to earn his maiden Major victory at the cradle of the game, especially after a third at the Masters in April and a tie for 13th at the PGA Championship in May.

“Places like (St Andrews) just have a certain feel to them, and almost gives you goosebumps,” said Smith, whose best finish at the Open is a tie for 20th. “Standing on the first tee at St Andrews in an Open is something that I’ve only dreamt of doing as a kid, and for it to all come real and to have the support I did out there today was pretty cool.”

“(The Open) hasn’t been too nice to me so far, so it would be good to get a good run in.”

Smith sat in third, a good omen considering 13 of the past 14 Open champions at St Andrews have been in the top 10 after round one.

Smith shot a 67 on day one at the 150th Open Championship. Image: Getty.

Smith said he would spend the lead up to Friday’s second round relaxing and watching English crime drama Peaky Blinders.

“I’ll probably watch five or six episodes today,” he said. “I’ll do a little bit of practice, hop on the (exercise) bike for 20 minutes and have a pretty cruisey night.”

Fellow Australian Adam Scott began horribly and was four over through six holes, but miraculously steadied the ship with four birdies and no bogeys over his closing 12. He was gassed after scratching out an even-par 72 during an almost six-hour round.

“(Four over) was unsettling when I was already unsettled teeing off at St Andrews in Major … it took me a few holes to find my rhythm,” Scott said. “I was skating on thin ice the whole round. If I can shoot something respectable (in round two), I’ll hopefully make up a few more shots and do the wind dance in the afternoon or something.

“The next 36 holes are so important. I have to play close to error-free golf and likely be in double digits under par (after three rounds).”

Scott hits a drive during round one at the 150th Open Championship. Image: Getty.

Scott played with countryman Marc Leishman, who struggled to a 74. Scott was joined at even par by Jason Scrivener (72).

Anthony Quayle, Matt Griffin (74), Dimi Papadatos (77) and Jed Morgan (79) rounded out the Australian contingent.