Phil Mickeson
Mickelson missed out on history at Royal Troon. Getty


  • Mickelson finished 63 eight under par.
  • Defending champion Zach Johnson four adrift of lead.
  • McIlroy two under par after falling behind at 13th hole.

Phil Mickelson leads The Open by three shots after the first day of action at Royal Troon but narrowly missed out on making major championship history.

The 2013 champion was inches away from becoming the first man to card a 62 in the opening round, only to watch his shot roll agonisingly across the lip and back out on the 18th hole at eight under par. Instead, he became the 26th person in major championship history to score a 63.

Mickelson sank eight birdies on a dominant round in west Scotland, moving ahead of fellow American Patrick Reed who finished the day tied for second at five under alongside Martin Kaymer. American quartet Justin Thomas, Steve Stricker, Billy Horschel and Tony Finau were among a pack of eight at four under, joined by defending champion Zach Johnson. Johnson could have closed the gap at the top even further but bogeyed on his final two holes.

Rory McIlroy sits six shots off the lead after finishing his round two under, a shot behind Justin Rose. McIlroy shared the lead with Reed at four under before he fell away on the 13th hole. Jordan Spieth meanwhile endured an error-prone afternoon by his own lofty standards, bogeying on the final hole to finish his round even-par 71.

Reed enjoyed a brilliant start to his round, eagling on the par four third hole and registering three birdies in his next four holes. Having covered the front nine in 32, five-time major winner Mickelson caught up with Reed on the 10th hole, however, finding a birdie and going the rest of the round without dropping a single shot.

Elsewhere, England's Chris Wood was forced to withdraw from competition. The 27-year-old suffered a recurrence of a neck injury and was forced to bow out on the 12th hole at three over bar.

Leaderboard: Mickelson -8, Kamyer -5, Reed-5, Thomas, Stricker, Horschel, Finau, Kjeldsen, Sullivan, Zac Johnson, Bradley (all -4), Rose, Lee, Sterne, Haas, Stenson, Garcia, Ikeda, Pieters, Cabrera-Bello (all -3)