Mickelson Makes Record-Breaking Desert Classic Start

Mickelson Makes Record-Breaking Desert Classic Start

Phil Mickelson leads the Desert Classic by three shots after the opening day following a career-best 12-under-par round of 60.

‘Lefty’ last competed at the Safeway Open in October but needed no time at all to get into his stride after his extended break, mixing 10 birdies and an eagle as carded the lowest score in relation to par of his 27-year career.

“I didn’t think this was going to be a day I would go low,” said Mickelson. “I came with low expectations.” “I haven’t had a lot of time to practise and prepare, but sometimes you have days where it clicks and the bad shots I hit I got away with.”

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The Desert Classic takes places over three courses in California and Mickelson’s excellent round came at La Quinta, with closest challenger Adam Long shooting his nine-under round of 63 at the Nicklaus Tournament course.

Long has sole possession of second place, with Australian Curtis Luck a further shot back after birdieing three of his four final holes to card a 64.

Scotland’s Martin Laird and Adam Hadwin, who shot a 59 at La Quinta in 2017, are in a four-way tie for fourth while England’s Justin Rose is eight shots off the pace after the first round.

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