Scott takes early British Open lead

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iol spt july19 Scott Adam REUTERS Australia's Adam Scott shot a six-under par 64 to seize the clubhouse lead.

Lytham – Australia's Adam Scott shot a six-under par 64 on Thursday to seize the clubhouse lead during Thursday's first round of the 141st British Open golf championship at Royal Lytham.

Scott had a chance to match the all-time low round in major golf history with a 63 but found deep rough off the tee at the 18th hole and missed a 12-foot par putt.

Instead, he settled for the top of the leaderboard with the lowest first round ever fired in 12 Opens at the links course and matching the course record in Open play, the third-round 64 by Tom Lehman on his way to victory in 1996.

Scott took a bogey at the third hole but answered with a birdie at the next hole and birdies at the sixth and par-5 seventh. He added three birdies in a row starting at the par-5 11th and two more at 15 and 16 before his closing bogey.

Scotsman Paul Lawrie, the 1999 British Open champion, was in the clubhouse on 65. He would set a record for the longest gap between Open titles if he lifts the Claret Jug on Sunday, breaking the 11-year record of Henry Cotton between 1937 and 1948.

Tiger Woods, a 14-time major champion chasing the all-time record of 18 major titles won by Jack Nicklaus, was two adrift with four holes to finish in his first round after twice seizing the lead alone on the front nine.

Woods has won three times this year but has not won a major crown since the 2008 US Open.

Woods sank a 10-foot birdie putt on the par-3 first, followed with a 20-footer at the fourth, added a 15-foot birdie at the sixth and birdied the par-5 seventh to reach four-under, then parred seven holes in a row. – AFP


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