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Breaking Down Mickelson’s U.S. Open Round 1

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Phil Mickelson is accustomed to bold plays. Lefty is also a devoted family man. Given these facts, it shouldn’t be a surprise that the golfer elected to do the following: Leave Merion, the site of the U.S. Open, on Monday to fly home to San Diego to practice in better weather and attend his daughter’s eighth-grade graduation. Mickelson then returned to the course early Thursday morning ahead of his 7:11 a.m. ET tee time.

The unorthodox preparation for the second major of the year paid off through the first round. Mickelson, who hasn’t finished an opening round of the U.S. Open under par since 2009, fired an impressive 3-under 67 Thursday. Phil was the tournament leader when he signed his scorecard for the three-under opening round.

Here’s Phil’s full jet-setting itinerary:

  • Left Merion Monday afternoon by private jet for San Diego
  • Departed San Diego at 11:15 p.m. ET (8:15 p.m. PT) Wednesday
  • Touched down in Philadelphia  at 4:30 a.m. ET
  • Arrived at Merion at 5:37 a.m. ET
  • Teed off at 7:11 a.m. ET at No. 11

Mickelson opened his round with a bogey at the 370-yard par-4 No. 11. He followed the blemish with pars at No. 12 and got a stroke back with a birdie at the 103-yard par-3 No. 13. The left-hander then added two pars before the suspension of play at 8:36 a.m. ET.

As Doug Ferguson of the Associated Press tweeted regarding the situation:

Of course, Phil isn’t flying coach and reportedly has a bed on his private plane. Given the suspension of play, he looks like a genius and likely snuck in a couple of hours of sleep. It seems like Mickelson accurately predicted the weather and what it would mean for him. He can add amateur meteorologist to the list of hats he’s worn this season, along with amateur financial planner and club designer.

After the restart at 12:10 p.m. ET (and more importantly, some sleep), Mickelson parred Nos. 16 and 17, after a quality tee shot on the 246-yard par-3 No. 17. Following a well-struck approach shot at the lengthy par-4 No. 18, Mickelson took two putts for another par and an even-par opening-eight (strange, I know).

A birdie on No. 1 (his ninth of the day) moved Mickelson to one under for the tournament. Fantastic par saves at the Nos. 2 and 3 (his eighth and ninth) — one from a bunker, one from the deep rough — followed.

Phil averted disaster on the difficult No. 5 when his drive stayed out of a creek after going wayward left, eventually saving par on a hole where he was staring bogey or worse in the face. On the No. 6 (his 14th) Mickelson got up and down from a difficult position in the bunker to remain at one-under par for the tournament.

Another birdie at the par-4 No. 7 moved Mickelson into the lead, and when Phil poured in a lengthy birdie putt at the par-3 No. 9, he moved to three under for the day, before parring No. 10 (his 18th of the day) for an opening-round 67.

Given the success of his method, Phil may want to consider flying home for dinner tonight.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Ben Jones

    Jun 14, 2013 at 12:08 pm

    When is Phil’s driving 3 wood going to be available for purchase? Also, what loft is this three wood? Way to go Phil!!!
    Thanks!

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Photos from the 2024 PGA Championship

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GolfWRX is on site this week at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky, for the PGA Championship.

While we see fewer equipment changes and new gear seeding at major championships, we get a look at custom gear and looks into the bags of players we rarely see, which is just as exciting. In the case of the PGA Championship, this means a look at the gear some of the PGA Professionals who qualified for the tournament will be gaming, and LIV players, such as Jon Rahm and Patrick Reed.

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Photos from the 2024 Wells Fargo Championship

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GolfWRX is live this week at the Wells Fargo Championship as a field of the world’s best golfers descend upon Charlotte, North Carolina, hoping to tame the beast that is Quail Hollow Club in this Signature Event — only Scottie Scheffler, who is home awaiting the birth of his first child, is absent.

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Photos from the 2024 CJ Cup Byron Nelson

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GolfWRX is on site this week in McKinney, Texas, at the 2024 CJ Cup Byron Nelson (FKA the AT&T Byron Nelson).

Last year at TPC Craig Ranch, Jason Day ended a five-year winless streak. J-Day is in the field again, as are Jordan Spieth, Tom Kim, and Will Zalatoris.

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