Phil Mickelson sets pace at British Open with record-tying 63

Dustin Johnson

GETTY STRATEGY Johnson plans to attack Royal Troon

Twenty minutes before he teed off, there wasn't an empty seat in the grandstand next to the first tee, where the silver claret jug was on a podium. "But after watching the screens, I think it two- or three-hopped into the hole, and it's always good to get you going". But in a procession of golf's Fab Four, he made the best of the ideal conditions. Irish Examiner reports that the former world number one hasn't been featured in the finish of any majors in the past two years.

"I actually did, I played really well, but just hit a couple putts that lipped out and birdied the par five". He had a 73. Johnson played in the easiest conditions and shot 71. He is fed up with watching others go to No. 1 and win majors, and there was a sense he was ready to do something about it.

Reed's early 66, a round punctuated by an eagle from the fairway on the par-4 third hole, set the clubhouse lead for much of the day. That changed with a shot over the green, a poor chip and three putts for a double bogey on the 13th, and he was so angry that he dropped another shot on the 14th.

"So I actually feel like with the wind being soft today I could take advantage of the back nine, which is usually where you're just trying to hold on". "But if somebody had given me that score on the 10th, I probably would have".

He knows there is rain and wind ahead in the forecast and, as a competitor, he chooses to accept it. McIlroy, even with his roots in Northern Ireland, is not regarded as a player who thrives in bad weather. " Phil Mickelson during a television interview that showed his birdies". His hope is that it clears out by the time he tees off in the afternoon.

Jordan Spieth, Jason Day, and McIlroy were in separate groups separated by four tee times.

Favored in all three majors this year, he still can't seem to get off to a good start.

He was able to get back into red figures with a birdie on the 221-yard par-3 17th. Both the US Open champion and Spieth could do no better than level par 71s to close eight adrift.

But it was Mickelson, following on from his closing 66 at Castle Stuart and enjoying ideal conditions after winds diminished to take the teeth out of Troon's murderous back nine, who put his stamp all over the first round.

Dustin Johnson
GETTY BALANCE Johnson knows the bunkers will stop him blasting every shot

"I had a lot of looks from 25 feet and a couple from inside 10 feet".

"We were walking up the fairway and he said, 'You know this is for a 62?'", added the American.

"Just watching the different shots that other players were hitting, I always thought it would be fun because I love to create shots and hit the amusing things", the Texan said. I mean, he couldn't hit a better putt. He thought his 18-foot birdie putt at the last hole was in.

"This one's going to stay with me for a while because of the historical element of the major championships", the five-time major victor said after setting the course record.

"It doesn't matter if the wind is blowing or not, that back nine is tough", said the former Junior Open victor.

"I was really conscious about it". He made a lot of nice putts. Jordan Spieth, who won the Masters and U.S. Open a year ago, shot 71.

McIlroy had reached four under par after eight holes - including a birdie on the Postage Stamp where he had taken nine in practice - but his round was in danger of unravelling when he double-bogeyed the 13th and dropped another shot on the next.

NOT SO FAB FOUR: The top four players in the world were a combined even par.

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