Mickelson Leads Open With First Round 63 !
Phil Mickelson fired a first round of 63 that included 8 birdies and 10 pars on the first day of the 145h Open Championship at Royal Troon to put him at -8 with a 3 shot lead, setting a new course record at Troon and with the last 6 Open winners being Americans is in a great position. Royal Troon is one of the oldest golf clubs in the world and is hosting The Open for the ninth time this week.
Mickelson lipped out on 18 to miss his birdie and made par, had he made the putt and shot 62 he would have been the first man ever to do so in a Major. Mickelson said: “That putt on 18 was an opportunity to do something historical.”
American Patrick Reed (5 birdies and an eagle) and German Martin Kaymer (5 birdies and 13 pars) were one shot behind after both shooting 66 to finish at -5.
Americans Justin Thomas, Steve Stricker, Billy Horschel, Tony Finau and defending champion Zach Johnson all shot 67 to finish at -4 as did Denmarks Soren Kjeldsen and Englands Andy Sullivan. Zach Johnson, who bogeyed his last two holes praised the spectators saying: “These crowds over here are just so warm and welcoming. They appreciate quality golf, tremendous fans.
Spaniard Sergio Garcia shot a first round of 68 that included 6 birdies to finish at -3.
Rory McIlroy shot a round of 69 that included 5 birdies to finish at -2, 6 shots behind the leader and tied 22nd. and said: “I think you’re looking at something at around eight or ten under par that might win this tournament and I felt like I got off to a good start in trying to achieve that.”
On a dry bright day, with sunny spells, 52 players were under par, so there is the promise of more great golf to come, although the weather is not looking so good going into the weekend.