Australian Adam Scott made a sensational start to the British Open with an opening round six-under par 64 at Royal Lytham on Thursday.
Scott carded eight birdies and looked set to equal the Open 18-hole record before dropping a shot at the 18th.
But Scott's round still equalled American Tom Lehman's 1996 course record for the lowest score in 11 Open tournaments at Royal Lytham.
Lehman went on to win the championship that year.
Scott also bettered by one shot the record for the lowest first round score at The Open, previously jointly held by England's Paul Broadhurst (1996) and Scotsmen Bill Longmuir (1979) and Colin Montgomerie (2001).
"It was like a walk in the park today, and not like what we've been experiencing in the practice rounds," Scott said.
"I'm sure there's going to be some weather elements thrown at us the next three days so I'm just going to have to knuckle down and handle that.
"But I'm confident. My ball striking is good and I think I can get round no matter what the conditions are."
Scott, who has never won a major tournament, leads 1999 Open champion Paul Lawrie, 2007 Masters winner Zach Johnson and Nicolas Colsearts of Belgium by one stroke, while America's Brandt Snedeker is two shots off the pace in fifth.
South African Ernie Els, Northern Irishmen Graeme McDowell and Rory McIlroy and Americans Bubba Watson and Tiger Woods headline a group tied for sixth after firing rounds of three-under par 67.
Woods, who can replace Englishman Luke Donald as the world's top ranked player by winning at Royal Lytham, birdied four of his first seven holes before hitting a wall.
The bookmakers' favourite closed with 10 pars and a bogey, but remained buoyed by his performance at the notoriously difficult course.
Swede Peter Hanson, Japan's Toshinori Muto and American Steve Stricker also closed with rounds of 67.
Brendan Jones and Marc Leishman were the next best placed Aussies in equal 22nd after posting rounds of one-under par 69, with Aaron Townsend and John Senden a further shot adrift in equal 37th.
Greg Chalmers, Aaron Baddeley, Marcus Fraser and Ashley Hall will be hopeful of improvement after rounds of one-over 71.
Geoff Ogilvy (two over) and Nicholas Cullen (three over) are further back, while Brad Kennedy and Robert Allenby both finished at five over.