Mickelson’s lip-out robs him of record Major round

An agonising horseshoe lip-out putt robbed Phil Mickelson of the lowest round in Major Championship history.

Mickelson was millimetres from becoming the first player in the Majors to shoot a round of 62 before putting out for an eight under par 63 on the opening day of the 145th Open Championship at Royal Troon.

The 2013 Open winner had birdied the 16th and 17th holes and when Mickelson put his approach at the last to some 18 feet all eyes were on the five-time Major to see if he would birdie the last and break a run of 27 players to have shot 63 including Rory McIlroy at the 2010 Open Championship.

Mickelson got a big break down the last when his drive landed just to the left of the first left hand side bunker.

The American’s putt then looked for all the world as if it was going to find the bottom of the cup but the ball agonisingly broke right and lipped round the back of the hole.

Mickelson’s caddy ‘Bones’, who was holding the flagstick, was so taken back by the near miss he fell backwards onto the green in disbelief.

“It was one of the best rounds that I’ve played but then nothing will match that final round at Muirfield,” he said.

“That putt on 18 was an opportunity to do something historical. I knew it, and with a foot to go I thought I had done it. I saw that the ball rolling right in the centre.”

“I went to go get it, I had a surge of adrenaline that I just had shot 62, and then I had the heartbreak that I didn’t and watched that ball lip out.”

“It really stings to have a chance. It’s such a rare opportunity to do something historic like that and if I had just hit at weak flail-off and never had chance and left it short, so be it. But this ball was hunting right in the centre and didn’t go in. It was just heartbreaking.”

Mickelson’s remarkable round did make history as it set a new course record at Troon and he became just the 26th player to fire a 63 in a Major with Greg Norman and Vijay Singh having done it twice.

Hiroshi Iwata was the last man to achieve the feat at last year’s US PGA Championship while the last person to do it at The Open was Rory McIlroy in 2010.