Phil Mickelson came within a half-inch of setting the record for the lowest round ever at a major

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Mike Ehrmann/Getty

Phil Mickelson leads the British Open after a bogey-free opening round of 63 from Royal Troon on Thursday. However, a birdie putt on 18 that lipped out and settled half an inch from the cup was all that kept him from becoming the first golfer to ever shoot a 62 at a major championship.

“It was right in the center of the hole with a foot to go,” Mickelson said while watching the replay. “I’ve seen all these highlights and I feel like crying.”

Mickelson becomes the 28th golfer to shoot a 63 at a major. And he was this close to making history:

Phil Mickelson came SO closeto a low major score of 62 #TheOpenpic.twitter.com/n91YpkelLG

#TheOpenpic.twitter.com/n91YpkelLGJuly 14,2016

“That was a chance to do something historical right there and to miss it that way …” he added.

Mickelson wasn’t the only one aware of all the history on the line with that putt. His caddie, watching from the edge of the green, fell over when it didn’t go in:

It’s one thing to have a chance for a 62 and dump your approach into the bunker. It’s another to miss by the absolute smallest of margins.

Mickelson will, of course, undoubtedly take a 63 to open the British. His previous low score at a major had been a 65. But that’s the cruel thing about golf: Even a major-leading round of 63 can have you pulling your hair out.

But just look at that!

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NBC