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U.S. SENIOR OPEN

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) _ It’s never been so crowded at the top of the U.S. Senior Open leaderboard.

When Tom Lehman chipped in from 45 feet on the 18th hole, he joined six others at 3-under 67 for the first round at the Omaha Country Club.

There had never been as many as seven co-leaders after the opening round of the event. The previous record was five in 1997.

Kenny Perry shot a 67 in the morning, putting together a solid start in his bid for a second straight win in a senior major. Michael Allen and Jay Don Blake also were 3 under after their morning rounds, and Gary Hallberg, Mark O’Meara, Fred Funk and Lehman came in with the same score in the afternoon.

The hilly 6,700-yard course took a toll on the field of golfers age 50 and older, especially in the afternoon as temperatures reached the upper 80s with a light breeze. The small and undulating greens browned up in the heat and proved dicey.

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EUROPEAN TOUR

INVERNESS, Scotland (AP) _ Phil Mickelson eased back into links golf with a 6-under 66 at the Scottish Open, leaving him behind two Englishman after a low-scoring first round.

John Parry, ranked No. 471, held the clubhouse lead after a bogey-free 64 and Simon Khan (65) also tamed the Castle Stuart course in perfect morning conditions in the Scottish Highlands to finish alone in second.

Mickelson is tied for third with six others after quickly hitting his stride in the warm-up event for next week’s British Open, finding his range on and around the greens to produce six birdies and an eagle.

Twenty-one years into a trophy-laden professional career, the four-time major winner insists there is still time for him to “conquer links golf.”

And his stylish opening round suggested a first win in Europe since 1993 could come either here or a few hours south in Muirfield next week.