It was an abnormally clear day in Scotland today, and the scores certainly reflected it as 50 players scored below par. Thursday ultimately, however, belonged to future hall-of-famer Phil Mickelson. He was inches from golf history, lipping out on the 18th hole for an astonishing opening round of 63. This was just one stroke shy of the lowest score in a golf major. Heading into the second round, Lefty sits atop the leaderboard at eight-under-par, three shots ahead of Patrick Reed and two-time major winner Martin Kaymer.
While Philly stole the spotlight day one, Madison’s very own Steve Stricker came in with an impressive four-under 67. The 49-year-old carded six birdies relative to only two bogeys, and even though he averaged just 267 yards off the tee, Stricker was fantastic with the short-stick, needing a mere 26 putts on the day. Royal Troon is proving kind to the tour veteran and it should come as no surprise if Stricker remains in contention through Sunday.
Other notable scores on the day include: Reigning Open Champion Zach Johnson (-4), Justin Rose (-3), Sergio Garcia (-3), World No. 1 Jason Day (+2), and Dustin Johnson and Jordan Spieth sit at even-par. Mequon native Jordan Niebrugge was one-over on the day, and will look to improve a couple of slots to make his second consecutive cut at the Open Championship.