Martin Kaymer and Patrick Reed shot excellent rounds of 66 to take a share of second place after the first round of The Open

Route 66 for Kaymer and Reed

While Phil Mickelson was holding back the tears on the 18th green yesterday at Royal Troon – having seen his putt for a record-breaking 62 somehow lip out – Martin Kaymer and Patrick Reed quietly went about their business, almost under radar detection. Both golfers recorded scores of 66, five under par, to share second place after the first round here, three shots behind Hollywood Phil.

Reed, 25, took the early first-round lead after his second shot into the par- four third hole bounced twice on the green before dunking into the cup for an eagle two. The American played the front nine in 31, five under par, before holding on down the difficult return nine, playing it in level par to sign for 66.

“I love playing over here,” said Reed after his round. “I love to create shots and hit the funny things. At home, we can’t do that.

“My game is really close. I just need to keep going and hopefully the wind blows even more, because it would be more exciting to hit some lower shots and make it tough.”

Playing in the afternoon, Kaymer got some momentum going with a string of birdies at six, seven and eight, before playing an immaculate back nine with two more birdies and not a single dropped shot over 18 holes.

“It’s a good start. It’s a very good start,” said Germany’s Kaymer, 31, last night. “It’s only a quarter of a long marathon that we went through today and you know, the goal is always to just place yourself until Sunday.”

Twice a major champion at the 2010 PGA Championship and 2014 U.S. Open, Kaymer is starting find his best form again, and last night he told Golf Monthly: “Knowing that you have won majors before gives you a little bit more belief that you can do it again if you get into a good position on the Sunday afternoon”.

Martin Kaymer is an ambassador for Mercedes-Benz, Official Car and Official Patron of The Open