Phil Mickelson, after shooting a 28 on his first nine holes at TPC Boston yesterday, admitted that he started thinking about the magical "59," which still stands as the lowest score ever posted in a PGA Tour Event.
Playing the front nine as his back nine in the first round of the Deutsche Bank Championship, he followed a bogie on number one with an eagle on the par five second hole. That's when he really began thinking about the record. But after parring the third, he struggled to make par on the fourth.
“When I eagled 2, I thought it was realistic. I needed to get 3 and 4,” said Mickelson. “When I didn’t birdie 4, I stopped thinking 59. I started just trying to get one or two more to shoot a low round in the 60s
He had a chance at 62 after birdieing the eighth hole, but a poor drive deep into the woods on his final hole forced him to scramble to just make bogie to close with a 63. It left him tied with Great Britain's Brian Davis at the end of the first round.
“I putted really well,” said Mickelson. “My ball striking was OK. I didn’t knock it down; I didn’t hit shots exceedingly close, other than the eagle putt on 2. But what I did do is make a lot of 12- to 20-foot putts, the ones that you need to get a really hot round. I ended up making them and quite a few of them.”
Mickelson played with both World Number One Tiger Woods and Masters Champ Adam Scott in a dream threesome that had all the holes and fairways they played clogged with an overflowing gallery of golf fans.
Woods played well in shooting 68 to be in a solid position entering the second round. He had only one bogie to go with three birdies. At the end of the round, he said that his back didn't bother him like it did last week at The Barclay's, but he wasn't happy with his iron play as he didn't have enough birdie chance on a course he termed "gettable".
Adam Scott, coming off his come from behind victory at The Barclay's, really struggled, making only one birdie all day, to go with three bogies. He'll have to rally today to just make the cut.
Davis came in 80th in the FedEx Cup race so his opening 63 not only tied Mickelson for the opening round lead, it puts him in a strong position to keep playing in two weeks if he can finish strong. He birdied the final three holes to match Mickelson late in the day. If the two time European Tour winner is able to stay in contention and win, it would be his first PGA Tour victory.
For the second consecutive week, Kevin Stadler shot an opening round 64 to stand alone in third. Hunter Mahan, Sergio Garcia, Robert Castro all shot 65 to finish the first round in a tie for fourth.
The logjam at -5 also included a staple of competitors who are playing for their FedEx Cup lives, and all of them put themselves in good position to get inside the top 70 and qualify to move on to the BMW Championship in two weeks. Ernie Els, Ian Poulter, Stewart Cink, Bob Estes, Jerry Kelly, and Nicholas Thompson all are outside the top 70 entering the tournament. Els came in at 91st, so he'll have to continue this type of play to ensure moving on.
Defending champion Rory Mcllroy managed only a one under par 70. He'll look to get back into the thick of it this morning.
Mickelson, Woods, and Scott will play in the afternoon today, teeing off at 1:10 PM eastern.
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- Phil Mickelson Charges Out of the Gate with Birdie Barrage at TPC Boston
- Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, and Adam Scott are Teeing It up Together in Boston
- Jim Furyk and Jason Dufner Lead the PGA Championship Heading into Round Four
- Defending Champ Rory Mcllroy Returns to the Deutsche Bank Seeking Last Year’s Magic
- Kevin Chappell Shoots 62: Matt Kuchar and Gary Woodland Lead at the Barclay’s
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