Thai star Thongchai Jaidee knew he needed something special to salvage his opening round. And he did it in style. The Asian Tour number one was three over par for his round with two holes remaining but pulled off some sensational shots for two closing birdies and a one-over-par 73. That strong finish left him in tied 56th place, but Thongchai felt he was worth a few shots better as he endured the worse half of the draw with his afternoon start that was hit by rain and cold winds. Thongchai was only one of nine players to birdie the infamous 17th hole dubbed the Road Hole. With an eight-iron in his hand, he stuck his approach shot to five feet of the pin for an easy birdie. At the last hole, he drove the green and two putted for birdie. 'I'm happy with my finish as it was not looking good. I hit a nice eight iron into the 17th for birdie and that was very nice. It helped me a lot,' said Thongchai. The former Thai paratrooper was amongst the best performers from the Asian contingent in the year's third major. Malaysia's Danny Chia celebrated his historic debut at the Open with a superb eagle on the 18th hole en route to a 74. Singapore's Mardan Mamat was a victim of the Road Hole as he ran up a double bogey six, taking two shots to come out from the greenside trap for his 75. Korea's Hur Suk-ho carded a 73 while compatriot Yang Yong-eun stumbled to a 76. Choi Kyung-ju, who plies his trade on the US PGA Tour, shot a 75. Simon Dyson of England returned a fine 70 but Thai Thammanoon Srirot hit 84.