The British Open’s age old reputation for lightning fast changes and wild momentum swings lived up to its billing in the first round Thursday as Phil Mickelson stood at the 18th green in proximity to a defining moment. Lefty, sitting precariously on the brink of immortality and a putt away from scoring the best round in major’s history, lined up for a shot of the ages. Unfortunately, for a captive worldwide audience and Mickelson, with much of the North American continent groggy from the time difference of the event, the 16 foot roll missed by the narrowest of margins.
Mickelson’s opening round mastery of an -8 under 63 in sunny and sparkling conditions at Royal Troon on the Scottish left coast, cement him on top of a talented leader board. Patrick Reed and Martin Kaymer share second place at -5.
With his record tying round, Mickelson now attempts to harness stability and avoid a monumental collapse in becoming the oldest player to win the Open, along with Jack Nicklaus and Old Tom Morris. The precarious climate may not cooperate as weather conditions are expected to produce moderate rain Friday.
VIDEO: Aerial Summary of Royal Troon