Scott stole Tiger Woods’s thunder with a spectacular course record-equalling 64 in the opening round at Royal Lytham and St Annes.
But Woods, the three-times champion and Open favourite, is among a dozen players, including seven major winners within three shots of Scott on a star-studded leaderboard.
Lancashire’s famous links course was left defenceless on a breathless and rain-free opening morning and, in total, 22 players finished day one in red numbers.
Scott’s countrymen Marcus Leishman and Brendan Jones are among the pursuing pack at one under after firing 69s.
Woods is tied for sixth at three under after giving up the outright lead when he faltered on the back nine as Scott sizzled with five birdies in seven holes.
“I look up on the board and Scotty is going pretty low and so is everyone else,” Woods said.
“I felt I had to make a few more and I was able to. I played well, I really hit it well. I was very close on making a few more putts.
“Every ball was starting right on my line. I was very pleased with that. I’ve just got to hit the putts a little harder.
“I’m very pleased with what I did today. We’ve got a long way to go.”
Scot Paul Lawrie, the 1999 champion, capitalised on a birdie-birdie-birdie start to finish one off the lead along with American Zach Johnson, the 2007 Masters champion, and Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts.
Brandt Snedeker is one shot further back, ahead of fellow American Steve Stricker, major winners Rory McIlroy, Bubba Watson, Ernie Els and Graeme McDowell, plus Swede Peter Hanson and Japan’s Toshinori Muto, all at three under with Woods.