It’s never been so crowded at the top of the US Senior Open leaderboard.
When Tom Lehman chipped in from 45 feet on the 18th hole Thursday, he joined six others at 3-under-par 67 for the first round at the Omaha (Neb.) 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.
‘‘In one round, 18 holes, it’s like a sprint,’’ Lehman said. ‘‘Over the course of four rounds, which is more like a marathon, things really do spread out. The field will thin out.’’
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.
Perry, who won the Senior Players Championship at Fox Chapel, Pa., two weeks ago, made five birdies against two bogeys.
The season points leader started on the back nine and had birdies on three of his first eight holes. He birdied both par 5s on his second nine, but missed a 5-foot eagle putt on No. 6.
‘‘I took care of the par 5s today and drove it nicely, kept it in the fairway, kept it in play,’’ Perry said. ‘‘I hit it in the fairway, I really like my chances on this golf course.’’
European — Phil Mickelson eased back into links golf with a 6-under 66 at the Scottish Open in Inverness, leaving him behind two Englishmen after a low-scoring first round.
John Parry 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 stand alone in second.
PGA — Defending champion Zach Johnson shot a 7-under 64 and is tied with Camilo Villegas for the lead after the opening round of the John Deere Classic in Silvis, Ill.
It was the 17th straight round in the 60s at TPC Deere Run for Johnson, who grew up roughly 100 miles away in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
LPGA — Angela Stanford and Catriona Matthew shot 8-under 63s to share the first-round lead at the Manulife Financial LPGA Classic in Waterloo, Ontario, two strokes ahead of top-ranked Inbee Park.
Park is trying to become the first golfer to win four straight LPGA Tour events since Lorena Ochoa in 2008.