No-one has ever shot 62 in a Major championship, although Adam Scott came mightily close today, as he took advantage of the calm conditions on the first morning of the 2012 Open Championship.
Scott, 32, ultimately signed for a 64, six under par, for the lunchtime clubhouse lead at Royal Lytham and St. Anne’s, although as he stood on the 18th tee, a birdie on the 413-yard par-four closer would have given him that record-breaking 62. Instead, the Australian played his first properly stray shot in 15 holes, to pull his drive into the long rough to the left of the fairway.
Instead of finishing with an historic ‘-1′ on the card, it was a deflating ‘+1′, which took a hint of the shine off an otherwise masterful first-round performance, which does tie Tom Lehman’s 1996 record low score in an Open at Royal Lytham.
“I know there’s never been a 62,” said Scott, who his pursuing his first Major victory. “It’s one of those things that you don’t want to go through your mind, thinking about your final score and stuff like that. So I got rid of that quickly and got on to playing the 17th, but unfortunately dropped one up the last.”
The gentlest of breezes accompanied Scott around the Lytham links this morning, having teed off at 8:42 with American Matt Kuchar and British Amateur champion Alan Dunbar, from Northern Ireland. With the winds picking up this afternoon, it will take an outstanding performance by a late starter to threaten Scott’s 64, which is a shot better that the morning rounds of Paul Lawrie and Zach Johnson.
Between dropped shots at the third hole and the last, Scott shot eight-under-par over a 14-hole stretch. Perhaps the pick of his shots was a tee shot at the 198-yard, par-three 12th, which finished three feet from the hole to set up birdie number five for the day.
“I am very pleased with the start,” said Scott. “It’s nice to take advantage of the calm conditions. It was very pleasing to play some solid golf – it’s what I haven’t done in the first rounds of Majors this year so far, and that was my goal here, to play today like it was Sunday and that there was no tomorrow. I did a good job of that, and now I’ve got my work cut out for me the next couple of days.”
Story courtesy of Mercedes-Benz, patron of the 2012 Open Championship