Phil Mickelson, winner of the 2013 British Open, equaled the lowest round in major championship history with an eight-under par 63 in the first round at Royal Troon in Scotland.
After birdies on 14, 16 and 17, Mickelson had a 15-foot birdie putt at 18 to break the record, but his putt lipped out. His 63, however, game him a three-stroke lead over Patrick Reed and Martin Kaymer.
"It was right in the center of the hole with a foot to go," Mickelson said regarding the putt on 18. "I've seen all these highlights and I feel like crying. That was a chance to do something historical right there and to miss it that way ..."
Reed, who held the lead until Mickelson overtook him, shot a five-under 66 that included a hole-out for eagle on the par-4 third hole.
Zach Johnson, the defending Open champion, shot a four-under 67. He is tied with Justin Thomas, Sergio Garcia and Billy Horschel for fourth, four strokes back of Mickelson.
Rory McIlroy, the winner of the 2014 British Open who was sidelined during last year's tournament, shot a two-under 69, six shots back of the lead and tied with Rickie Fowler.
Dustin Johnson, winner of this year's U.S. Open and WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, posted just an even-par 71. He is tied with Masters champion Danny Willett, Jordan Spieth, Louis Oosthuizen and Colin Montgomerie.
World No. 1 Jason Day struggled, shooting a two-over 73, putting him 10 shots back and tied with Brandt Snedeker and Luke Donald.
[Click here for the entire leader board from Royal Troon.] (http://www.golfdigest.com/story/british-open-leader-board)