Quantcast

Golf: Phil Mickelson shoots 60 to lead at Phoenix Open

Published January 31, 2013 4:03 pm

Golf • Lefty stopped at 60 when 25-foot birdie lips out.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Scottsdale, Ariz. • Phil Mickelson missed out on a 59 by a fraction of an inch Thursday in the first round of the Phoenix Open.

Mickelson had a chance to become the sixth player in PGA Tour history to break 60 with a 25-foot birdie attempt on his last hole, the par-4 ninth at TPC Scottsdale. The putt looked good all the way, and Mickelson pointed his putter at the cup as he prepared to celebrate.

Right at the end, though, the ball caught the right edge of the cup, curled 180 degrees to the other side of the hole and stayed out.

"Six feet to go, it was in the center," Mickelson said. "Three feet to go, it was in the center. A foot to go, it was in the center, and even as it's approaching the hole, I couldn't envision which side of the hole it could possibly miss on, and it ended up somehow just dying off at the end, catching the lip. At that speed, to lip out as much as it did is very rare.

"I'm excited to shoot 60, but to see that last putt lip out the way it did and not go in, it's crushing because you don't get that chance very often to shoot 59."

His caddie, Jim Mackay, fell to his knees.

"He could not have hit a better putt," Mackay said.

Playing partners Jason Dufner and Rickie Fowler thought it was going in, too.

"Unlucky. He was walking it in," Dufner said.

"I thought it was in," Fowler said. "I was pulling for him, trying to stay out of his way."

Mickelson settled for an 11-under 60, matching the tournament record he already shared with Grant Waite and Mark Calcavecchia.

"Well, 60 is awesome," he said. "Last time I shot 60 here in '05, I birdied like the last three or four holes just to do that, and I was ecstatic, and I'm ecstatic to shoot 60. But there's a big difference between 60 and 59. Not that big between 60 and 61, there really isn't. But there's a big barrier, a Berlin Wall barrier, between 59 and 60. I shot it in the PGA Grand Slam of Golf. I shot 58 in a practice round. But to do it in a tournament would have been historic for me, something I'd always remember, and I'll always remember that putt on the last hole probably, too." —

Leaderboard

Phoenix Open

Phil Mickelson -11

Four tied at -7

Also

Daniel Summerhays -1