Scott leads British Open after first round

July 19, 2012 at 3:49 PM
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LYTHAM ST. ANNES, England, July 19 (UPI) -- Adam Scott tied the course tournament record with an early 6-under-par 64 Thursday in taking the first-round lead at the 141st British Open.

Scott overcame an early bogey hole with eight birdies that put him in position to threaten the major-tournament record of 63. A drive into the left rough at 18 basically ended his chance of the record. However, his 64 matched the best mark at the Royal Lytham and St. Annes Golf Club during British Open competition.

He finished the day with eight birdies and two bogeys -- at Nos. 3 and 18 -- for a one-stroke lead over Paul Lawrie, Zach Johnson and Nicolas Colsaerts.

Lawrie finished the day at 5-under with a six-birdie, one-bogey round while Johnson, who had bogeys at 3 and 17, had four of his seven birdies on the second nine.

Colsaerts had the best round of the afternoon group, dropping in an eagle 2 at the par-4 second hole and carding one bogey -- again at No. 3 -- and four birdies.

Brandt Snedeker, also playing in the afternoon, was alone in fifth after a bogey-free 4-under 66.

Relatively tame conditions early -- many early golfers played Thursday in shirt sleeves -- with mild temperatures and light winds made scoring conditions near optimal and the players took advantage. Later, however, rain and wind forced players to seek cover under umbrellas, jackets and -- at least for Phil Mickelson -- gloves.

Eight players came away with 3-under 67s. In that group are Tiger Woods, Bubba Watson, Graeme McDowell and Ernie Els, who played early. Also in at 67 were Rory McIlroy Steve Stricker, Peter Hanson and Toshinori Muto.

Other notable scores had world No. 1 Luke Donald at even 70, five-time British Open champion Tom Watson at 1-over, Mickelson at 3-over and defending British Open champion Daren Clarke at 6-over 76.

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