Mickelson flirts with 59 in first start of season

Ruben Holloway
January 20, 2019

Mickleson has posted two previous rounds of 60 at the Waste Management Phoenix Open before.

Mickelson's opener also made him the only player in PGA Tour history to shoot 60 or lower three times, and he is now in prime position to collect his 50th professional title - 28 years after winning his first while still an amateur at the Northern Telecom Open.

Luck has matched matched Mickelson with a tournament-leading 16 birdies, but both players will play the final two round on the tougher PGA West Stadium Course. The 22-year-old Australian rebounded from a bogey on the par-3 eighth with a closing birdie on the par-4 ninth.

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In his first round of the year, the American, 48, shot 10 birdies and an eagle at La Quinta to lead by three strokes after a round delayed by fog.

'I really didn't think that this was going to be a day that I was going to go low, ' said Mickelson.

"That was an interesting shot because I could have easily lost one and I ended up picking one up", he said.

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Mickelson leads by three from compatriot Adam Long, with Australia's Curtis Luck third on eight under. He won the World Golf Championships-Mexico Championship a year ago for his 43rd PGA Tour title and first since the 2013 British Open. "I was just kind of staying more present for the simple reason that I didn't feel like I was firing on all cylinders. And then I putted phenomenal". "That's not an easy hole for me, that shot the way it sits along the water". "The last thing is speed, because if I have speed with the driver then I can worry more about accuracy".

His 10-foot birdie putt on the par-5 fourth hole never had a chance.

Justin Rose of England and swing coach Sean Foley talk prior to the start of the Desert Classic at the Jack Nicklaus Tournament Course at PGA West on Thursday in La Quinta, California.

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"You only get to number one in the world by playing consistently good golf and that's always been my goal, to try and get the best out of my game week-in, week-out", Rose said. "Not fully recuperated. My body is not a hundred percent". I keep missing fairways and greens, and I'm at 4 under, " Jutanugarn said.

Mickelson was able to recover through his last nine holes with four birdies, including one on the final hole of the day. "But once I got going I felt like I played really well".

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