Scott leads British Open; Woods 3 back

HISTORY was within Adam Scott’s grasp heading into the 18th hole of the 2012 British Open opening round. But an errant tee shot into the thick rough led to a bogey, denying him of a course record.

He settled for a 6-under 64, enough to tie the lowest British Open score at Royal Lytham & St. Annes and take sole possession of the lead on Thursday (July 19).

Tom Lehman also shot a 64 at Lytham in 1996.

Tiger Woods also spent some time atop the leaderboard. He played the first 14 holes at 4 under, finally stumbling after he sprayed his tee shot at the 15th into the thick rough and wound up with a bogey

Still, he finished with a 67 to position himself nicely for a run at his 15th major championship, looking to break a drought in the biggest tournaments that goes back to the 2008 U.S. Open.

A host of major champions took advantage of the easy condition. Paul Lawrie, a former British Open winner, opened with a surprising 65. Masters winners Zach Johnson (65) and Bubba Watson (67) were right in the thick of things. So were U.S. Open champions Ernie Els (67) and Graeme McDowell (67).

But some of the big guns failed to capitalize. Defending Open champion Darren Clarke struggled to a 76. Lee Westwood, the English favorite and best player without a major title, also got off to a sluggish start with a 73. Noli S. Cruz

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