A resurgent Graeme McDowell, Matt Kuchar Rickie Fowler and defending champion Justin Rose are on four-under.
In the main, a first-day crowd of 13,547 watched good golf but a few big names were bitten by the rough – and it’s not almost as fierce as it normally is at this time of the year.
“I felt like I was in a good place out there for a change today”, the Northern Irishman said.
“I hit nearly every green, only missing the 18th”. He immediately apologised to Aberdeen Asset Management through the company’s chief executive, Martin Gilbert, and it would have been pleasing for McDowell and the title sponsor that he returned with a positive performance.
He missed the cut last week at the French Open, a tournament he had won in the two previous years, and he pledged after that to get the clutter out of his mind and get back to the basics.
After an opening-round 69, Mickelson birdied his second hole.
If low scores were out there to be had, that was not the case for ex- Open champion David Duval.
The par-four first on the composite course at Gullane measures just 390 yards, but Duval still contrived to card a quadruple-bogey eight after tangling with the dense rough to the right of the fairway.
Won’t happen this year: McIlroy is out of action after an ankle injury while playing soccer.
“I’ve had enough of bad luck”, said Olesen. He is still ranked No. 9 in the world and has that stirring Players Championship win to look back on.
Scotland’s Russell Knox, a last-minute callup for the injured world number one Rory McIlroy, had a 67.
The 2013 champion of both the Scottish and British Opens turned it round, although he said: “For me to make the cut the way I putted the first two days in surprising”.
If the Scottish Open here is a fair measure of performance ahead of next week’s Open, expect the Stars and Stripes to be all over the St Andrews leaderboard. He had hoped to recover but admitted on social media Wednesday evening he would now need to rest.
The 25-year-old Dane sustained one of the most weird injuries of recent years when he fell off a camel while on holiday with friends in Dubai last year, pulled a groin muscle and was ruled out for two months.
“When I started back, I was not fully fit but, obviously, I came back with no expectation and finished second in the first week”.
Gullane: Phil Mickelson says Donald Trump’s disparaging remarks about illegal immigrants have put many in golf in a “tough spot” due to their appreciation for what the United States presidential candidate has done for the game. Then, after marking his recovery from that by winning the Perth worldwide in Australia towards the end of last season, he discovered a tendon problem in his left hand that eventually required surgery.