Two terrific shots from tee to green led to a short birdie putt at the first hole, which he drained.
He kept the tape on the entire round, although it did not appear to affect his play.
For a few hours at a sun-drenched Carnoustie on Thursday it felt like 2000 all over again, or 2005 or 2006 as Tiger Woods rolled back the years and captivated a heaving British Open gallery.
"If you get a feeling about somebody winning, my feeling is for Rickie", said Player.
The 2014 champion carded three birdies and just one bogey in an opening round 69 that leaves him three shots behind leader Kevin Kisner. "The round certainly could have been a little bit better".
After calling this weekend's British Open at Carnoustie for the Golf Channel, Chamblee will head to Senior British Open qualifying at Scotscraig Golf Club as he begins his comeback 15 years after he left the sport. "I've been doing this for years, braces and bandages, just that this time it's actually visible", he said. Kisner, who needed just 22 putts in his opening round, took an early lead into the clubhouse and held it. "I feel a bit more comfortable on this stage than I have in previous years, which is nice". Unfortunately, I didn't take care of both par 5s, and I hit 8-iron into both of them.
Having said this, Woods' actions don't speak that of a confident, upbeat golfer excited about his chances at the event.
"I've put myself up there in contention a couple of times. It's no big deal".
"This is our oldest championship and to come back to such a historic site just brings back so many great memories from playing here as an amateur and from the two Opens I've played", said the former world number one.
Leishman was flying one shot off the lead after collecting four birdies in his first eight holes before fading to a one-over-par 72 in the hard afternoon conditions at Carnoustie. Most importantly, maybe, he played the nasty final three holes in even par on a day where they were playing more than a stroke over par in the aggregate. Kisner was 1 over through five, and then he played the last 13 holes in a brilliant 6 under that included an eagle and four birdies.
As for the relative sporting merits of his house-mates, Kisner could not resist getting in a gentle dig at the man he hopes to succeed as Open Champion. A certain shot you think is a wonderful shot down the middle of the fairway could bounce some weird way. He shot 41 on the front nine.