Video - Phil Mickelson came so close to history at The Open
Former champion Phil Mickelson equalled the lowest score in major championship history after agonisingly lipping out with a putt to claim the outright record in the Open Championship at Royal Troon.
Mickelson, who has not won since lifting the Claret Jug at Muirfield in 2013, needed to hole from 15 feet on the 18th to card a nine-under-par 62, only to see his attempt catch the edge of the hole and stay out.
The 46-year-old could barely believe it as he had to settle for a flawless 63 and a three-shot lead over compatriot Patrick Reed, with Mickelson admitting he finish his glorious round feeling frustrated.
"To play this round and come away feeling like I want to cry is strange," said Mickelson.
"It was a wonderful round and we had some great conditions to shoot a low score out there.
"To have a chance to shoot 62 and create history, it is tough to see that slipping away. I just don't know how the putt missed. I felt I had it perfect."
Mickelson, who finished a shot outside the play-off the last time the Open was staged at Troon in 2004, had never shot lower than 66 in the Open before, with his last such score sealing victory three years ago.
But the left-hander took advantage of the wind dropping in the afternoon to card four birdies on the front nine and four more on the back as he looks to follow in the footsteps of compatriots Arnold Palmer, Tom Weiskopf, Tom Watson, Mark Calcavecchia, Justin Leonard and Todd Hamilton in winning the Open at the Ayrshire venue.
That would make him the fourth oldest major champion ever and the oldest at the Open since Old Tom Morris, who was just two months older than Mickelson when winning in 1867.
Mickelson is the ninth player to card a round of 63 at The Open and here are the other eight:
Mark Hayes, 1977 (Turnberry)
Isao Aoki, 1980 (Muirfield)
Greg Norman, 1986 (Turnberry)
Paul Broadhurst, 1990 (St. Andrews)
Jodie Mudd, 1991 (Birkdale)
Nick Faldo, 1993 (St George’s)
Payne Stewart, 1993 (St George’s)
Rory McIlroy, 2010 (St Andrews)
This was the moment when Mickelson came within a fraction of golfing history: