SOUTHPORT, England (AP) — Matt Kuchar matched the best front-nine score ever at Royal Birkdale, and even following that with nothing but pars on the back nine the American still shot his best score in a major.
Kuchar saved par from behind the 18th green and shot 5-under 65 to share the lead with Jordan Spieth and U.S. Open champion Brooks Koepka in the opening round of the British Open.
With three straight birdies and a 29, he tied the record that Ian Baker-Finch set in 1991 when he won the claret jug. Kuchar missed good birdie opportunities on the par-5 15th and 17th holes. Even so, it beats by one shot his previous best — a 66 in the second round at Oak Hill in the 2013 PGA Championship.