After a ridiculous front nine score of seven under par 28, the 59 watch was on for Phil Mickelson in the first round of the Deutsche Bank Championship. Lefty cooled off a bit on his second nine of the day – he started on the back nine – carding a paltry one under for the last half of his round. While his quest for the elusive 59 went by the wayside, Mickelson still finished his first round in impressive fashion with an eight under 63.
“I feel like these next three weeks I’m going to play very well. I can just feel it,” said Mickelson. “You can just tell sometimes. The game feels sharp. And mentally I have a lot of energy and I’m able to focus clearly.” He’s clearly feeling confident after rallying in the final round of The Barclays to challenge the lead and then following that up with an extraordinary opening round.
Those that thought playing with Tiger Woods and Adam Scott would force Mickelson to shrink away from the pressure were sadly mistaken. There was no stopping him over the first nine holes. Even though he cooled off on his second nine, Mickelson still only carded two bogeys on the day. You can’t really argue with those results – especially when you add eight birdies and an eagle to those two bogeys. He only needed 10 putts over the first nine holes, having found the cup from 18, 28, 18 and 15 feet.
This round sets Mickelson up for success this week as he shouldn’t have to worry about coming back from a huge deficit on the final day. Now, anything is possible when Lefty takes the course – and he could very well struggle in the next rounds – but he should still be within a few shots of the lead no matter what happens.