Mickelson leads Open with Royal Troon course record

Phil Mickelson enters the record books with blistering first-round 63

Andy Roberts's picture
Fri, 15 Jul 2016

Phil Mickelson stole the show on the opening day of the Open at Royal Troon by firing a course-record 63 to tie the lowest round in major history.

Mickelson, who lifted the Claret Jug in 2013, said he played "one of the best rounds of his life" but "felt like crying" after missing a 15-foot birdie putt on the 18th for a 62.

The man they call Lefty carded eight birdies and no blemishes to lead by three shots over compatriot Patrick Reed and Germany's Martin Kaymer.

Mickelson is now the 26th player to shoot a round of 63 in major championship history.

Nine players had carded 63s in 144 previous Opens, the last being McIlroy at St Andrews in 2010. But Mickelson's round was the lowest in an Open at Troon.

"It was a fun round," said Mickelson. "Yet I still walk away wanting to shed a tear with that putt lipping out."

England's Andy Sullivan and Justin Rose lie four and five shots back respectively, while Rory McIlroy sits six shots adrift.

Tournament favourites Dustin Johnson and Jordan Spieth carded level-par rounds of 71, with world number one Jason Day posting a 73.