John Parry of England shot a flawless first round of -8 under par 64 to lead the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open on the Castle Stuart Golf Links. John Parry / Getty Images John put his perfect start to the Scottish Open down to his good form in the US Open at Merion, where he finished tied 28th and took a step forward in confidence; " I think the US Open was the catalyst for me to start playing better, making cuts. It's renowned for being the toughest event of the year. You know if you can compete on that, you know you can compete on any course. It's good for your confidence. I think from when I lost my card, I maybe panicked a bit coming into the last few events because you know you're struggling. Just making sure you do the right things constantly and you'll get the results. I've been playing better. I think my wedge play and iron play were key. That's what I knew coming into this event to work on, because off the tee, it's quite generous, so you can work on your short irons and wedges and you can take lots of chances." Another Englishman Simon Khan is in second place at -7 under par after his opening effort of 65. " My form wasn't great after I won at Wentworth in 2010, so I sort of tried to turn it around the other way and think like that. I played well last week in France, a course I always feel like I've always got a chance on. My preparation was really good for this week and felt really good out there." World Number Eight Phil Mickelson is in a group tied in third place at -6 under par; six other players joined Phil on that score. They were; Shane Lowery, Mikko Ilonen, James Morrison, Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Thongchai Jaidee and Chris Doak. Phil was very pleased with his good start at this tournament, it makes a nice change; " It was a good start, we had perfect conditions the first 14 or 15 holes and there are opportunities on this course to make birdies and eagles. It's an above-average round but there were opportunities to pick up three or four shots that I let go so I have to get a little sharper. There was a good chance to go low but I'm pleased to get off to a good start because I've got off to poor starts the last two years and been struggling to get into contention." The defending Champion, Jeev Milkha Singh, managed to chip it into the cup on the ninth hole, his last, to leave himself well placed on five under. Sadly Ernie Els, who defends his Open Championship title at Muirfield next week, could only manage a level par 72. It is links golf and anything can happen but Ernie has a long way to go, especially if Phil keeps on playing well.