It matched the lowest Open round ever at Royal Lytham and gave the Australian a 1-shot lead over Paul Lawrie, Zach Johnson, and Nicolas Colsaerts.
"It was just like a nice walk in the park today," Scott said. "And it was not what we've experienced in the practice rounds. I'm sure there's going to be some weather elements thrown at us the next three days, so I'm just going to have to knuckle down to handle that. But I'm confident."
Scott was among three-dozen players with rounds in the 60s, a group that included Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy. Trying to end a four-year drought in the majors, Woods recorded four birdies in seven holes to take the early lead, only to settle into a series of pars and one adventure through grass up to his knees for a lone bogey that gave him a 67. In his third Open at Lytham, Woods said it was as easy as he had ever seen it play.
"The wind wasn't blowing, and we're backing golf balls up," Woods said. "That's something we just don't see."
Lawrie won his British Open in nasty conditions at Carnoustie in 1999, and the Scot showed he could handle the calm weather with equal aplomb. He ran off three birdies over the last five holes. Johnson, who won the 2006 Masters in the wind and cold at Augusta National, flirted with a major-record-tying 63 until a bogey on the 17th hole. Colsaerts, the big hitter from Belgium, holed out with an 8-iron on the 481-yard second hole for eagle and added four birdies for his 65.
Brandt Snedeker was another shot behind at 66.
McIlroy was panned last summer at Royal St. George's for saying he prefers calm conditions, so maybe this was more to his liking. He wound up in the group at 67 after a wild day filled with great shots, bad luck, and a bump on the head for a 16-year-old boy standing in the wrong spot.
McIlroy was at 3 under with four holes remaining when his drive on the 15th hole sailed to the right of the fairway. It plunked the teenager in the head and caromed farther to the right. The teen was OK. The ball settled a few inches beyond the out-of-bounds stakes near a corporate tent, sending McIlroy back to the tee to play his third shot.
McIlroy gave him a glove on which he wrote "Sorry" with a frown face and "Rory."
"He could have headed it the other way," McIlroy joked later. "It would have been on the fairway."
He bounced back from that double bogey by driving the 336-yard 16th hole and two-putting for birdie, then making birdie on the final hole to join the group that included Ernie Els, Masters champion Bubba Watson, Graeme McDowell, and Steve Stricker, who followed an eagle from the 13th fairway with a double bogey on the next hole.