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The Open Championship First Round News & Notes

5:59 PM, Jul 18, 2013   |    comments
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East Lothian, Scotland (Sports Network) - Phil Mickelson knows what it is like to win the week before a major championship, then turn around and win the major too.

Mickelson accomplished that feat in 2006, when he won the BellSouth Classic then followed the next week with his second victory at the Masters.

He won last week's Scottish Open and is now trying to earn his first British Open victory. Mickelson mixed four birdies and two bogeys in a round of 2- under 69.

Mickelson is making his 20th appearance at the Open Championship, but has just two top-5 finishes, the last of which came in 2011.

"I love the fact that I shot under par, because it's a very challenging course out there," Mickelson stated. "I don't expect anybody to beat the lead from the morning wave, I just don't think it's possible."

He was right as Zach Johnson's early 67 was good enough to lead after round one.

SPIETH ALSO TRYING TO MAKE IT TWO IN A ROW

Jordan Spieth claimed his first win on the PGA Tour last week in a playoff over Zach Johnson and David Hearn, and like Mickelson is trying to make it two wins in a row.

Spieth is playing his first British Open after earning the last spot in the field last week.

"I played really well today. I didn't have very good shots at the first, and then after that, I had a couple of poorish shots in the middle of my round there, but apart from that I played really well," Spieth said. "As you can see, there's not much green left on that being good, it's very, very fast and firm. So anything under par this afternoon I think is a good round."

This is Spieth's third start in a major. He played the last two U.S. Open Championships, finishing tied for 21st (and low amateur) in 2012 and missing the cut this year.

* Rory McIlroy (79) missed his worst score at the Open Championship by one stroke, while Luke Donald (80) matched his worst score.

* Dustin Johnson is the only player to finish in the top 15 each of the last two years at the Open Championship.

* Todd Hamilton's 69 was his lowest round in a major since he won this title in 2004.

* The par-4 first was the hardest hole in the opening round as it played to an average of 4.56.

* The par-5 fifth was the easiest hole as it played to an average of 4.55.

The Sports Network

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