GULLANE, Scotland – American golfer Luke List equaled the Gullane course record with a 7-under-par 63 to start the Scottish Open on Thursday.
List moved into the lead with his ninth birdie on the 15th hole and held it to finish the round ahead by one stroke.
He was followed by five players in a tie for second; Rickie Fowler, Lee Westwood, Robert Rock, Scott Fernandez of Spain, and Jens Dantorp of Sweden.
Masters champion Patrick Reed was part of an eight-strong group a shot further back following a 65, with Danny Willett continuing his resurgence with a 66, and Olympic champion Justin Rose returning a 67.
On a day when almost 100 players broke par, five-time major champion Phil Mickelson, who won the 2013 British Open at nearby Muirfield, could only manage a level-par 70.
Fowler raised the prospect of recording the first 59 in European Tour history after five birdies and an eagle took him to 7 under after 12 holes.
But a bogey on the 13th was followed by five straight pars as the inward nine played much harder back into the wind.
Reed also raced to the turn in 29 before coming home in 36.
“I love playing links golf and being able to use your imagination and hit different shots,” said Fowler, whose victory at Gullane in 2015 prompted the members to rename the clubhouse bar in his honor. “I feel like this golf course, you go around and you hit pretty much every club in your bag.”
Rock carded six birdies in a bogey-free round as he looks to secure one of the three places available in next week’s British Open for players finishing in the top 10 who are not otherwise exempt.
“It’s the last chance and it’s always disappointing to not play the Open,” said Rock, who finished seventh at St Andrews in 2010. “I’m going as a coach anyway (for fellow Englishman Matt Wallace). But I’d like to be playing.”
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