Great start for Ian Poulter at the Open

Ian Poulter teeing off at the ninth on the opening day of the Open

A revitalised Ian Poulter expressed his pride at completing the transition from commentator to contender after making a record start to the Open Championship at Royal Birkdale.

The Milton Keynes based star, who had to come through final qualifying to avoid missing a sixth major in succession, overcame testing conditions for the early starters to card a three-under-par 67, his lowest opening round in a major at the 54th attempt.

The 41-year-old missed last year's Open at Royal Troon due to a foot injury and had to make do with spells as a television commentator, with his participation in the Ryder Cup limited to being a vice-captain in Europe's defeat at Hazeltine.

Ian Poulter talking about his record breaking start at the Open Credit: PA/theOpen.com

Poulter finished second behind Padraig Harrington the last time Birkdale staged the Open in 2008.