Phil Mickelson equals major championship record after spellbinding opening round at Royal Troon

The American shot an opening round 63 and was inches from shooting a first ever 62 in major history

BY Cian Roche 19:25 Thursday 14 July 2016, 19:25 14 Jul 2016

Image: Matt Dunham / AP/Press Association Images

Phil Mickelson made the most of the calm conditions today as he stormed to an eight under-par outright lead with an opening round 63.

The American was literally millimetres from holing a birdie on the last which would have been the first time a golfer has ever carded a round of 62 at a major championship. The ball lipped the hole and Mickelson had to settle for equalling the record on 63 and also sets a new course record at Royal Troon.

"It was pretty heartbreaking," he told Sky Sports after his round. I had the ball right in the centre of the hole with a foot to go and it was the perfect speed. I don't understand what just happened. 

"To have played this round and to walk away feeling like I want to cry is a very awkward feeling.

"I knew walking up [to 17] that if I was to roll it in I would have a chance on 18. On the 17 tee though, that was the last thing on my mind. That was one of the most difficult par threes I've played in my life."

Asked whether or not he feels his game has improved to win The Open he said: "I noticed it last week at Castel Stuart [at the Scottish Open]. I hit 26 of 28 fairways and, granted the fairways are wide, I knew my swing was back. Today I never really left the centre."

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