Phil Mickelson has surged to a three shot lead after the first round of the British Open with a blistering eight under par 63 at Scotland’s Royal Troon golf course.
Americans occupy six of the top seven positions, with only Germany’s Martin Kaymer, tied second with Patrick Reed after a five-under 66, spoiling the Yanks’ party.
Matt Jones is the best positioned of the 11-man Aussie contingent, with a two-under 69 on his card. That ties Jones with Adam Scott. Next comes Scott Hend with an even par 71 that has him in a multiple tie with 24 other players eight shots behind Mickelson.
Greg Chalmers, Marcus Fraser, Rod Pampling and Nathan Holman are tied for 75th, all four posting one-over 72s.
World number one Jason Day shot a two-over 73 and trails Mickelson by 10 and will need to do a bit better than respectable tomorrow or risk missing the cut. He world number one ranking could be in jeopardy as well and would be lost if Dustin Johnson were to win The Open. Johnson produced a 71 in the first round.
Nick Cullen, Marc Leishman and Steven Bowditch are well toward the bottom and would conceivably need divine intervention to make the cut.
One hundred and fifty-five players remain after the withdrawal of England’s Chris Wood. The worst score of the day belonged to Scotland’s own Sandy Lyle, who made it into the tournament on legacy status as a former winner.