FORT WORTH, Texas — Phil Mickelson saved listening to congratulatory phrases as he made his method round Colonial, and there was an enormous roar from the group when the PGA Championship winner made a protracted putt to complete his round. Jordan Spieth saved making birdies in the identical group.
Spieth shot a 7-under 63 on a breezy Thursday and was tied for the first-round lead on the Charles Schwab Challenge with Sergio Garcia, who had a 15-foot birdie try on the 18th gap that circled the sting of the cup however didn’t go in. Both former Colonial champions had bogey-free rounds.
The 50-year-old Mickelson, solely 4 days after turning into the oldest winner of a golf main, was 10 strokes again after a 73 that ended with the 22-foot birdie whereas enjoying with native favourite Spieth and defending Colonial champion Daniel Berger (68).
“Yeah, I didn’t play well,” Mickelson stated. “But I won the PGA, so.”
Garcia matched the closing 63 he had at Colonial when he received the primary of his 11 PGA Tour wins 20 years in the past at age 21. He was 5 below on the four-hole stretch proper in the midst of the round. He birdied holes No. 8-10 earlier than an eagle on the 620-yard eleventh, the place he blasted out of a greenside bunker on the course’s longest gap.
“It was quite breezy. It was gusty, so it wasn’t easy to pull some of the clubs,” Garcia stated. “There were some tough holes out there, but I was able to hit really good shots on those holes, and a couple up-and-downs when I needed them.”
Right after Mickelson’s closing putt on the 387-yard ninth, Spieth had a tap-in for his third birdie in a row, and seventh total — and proper after a 71-foot chip-in from the tough on the par-3 eighth. The 2016 winner and two-time runner-up had his greatest rating in 33 profession rounds at Colonial, one in all two native occasions for the Dallas native, after rolling in a 12-foot birdie putt to start out the day.
“It’s hard to go any lower,” Spieth stated. “That’s what I talked about before the tournament. If I could get a couple to go in early in the first round, and the confidence, and the work I’ve been doing on my stroke the last few days … I thought that would exude just a little bit of confidence into the rest of the round on greens where I’ve been very successful on before.”
Erik Compton, the two-time coronary heart transplant recipient who received into the sector on a sponsor exemption, and Jason Kokrak had 65s. The 41-year-old Compton performed bogey-free after birdies on the primary two holes of his second PGA Tour begin this yr. He missed the minimize on the Honda Classic.
Mickelson, the 2000 and 2008 Colonial champ, missed 9 of 14 fairways — some with irons off the tee — in a scrambling early-starting round that adopted an emotionally draining few days.
After successful Sunday at Kiawah Island in South Carolina, Mickelson flew residence that evening to California, then allowed himself a few days to relish his historic accomplishment. Lefty stated he by no means thought-about skipping Hogan’s Alley, a tree-lined course he considers completely suited to his sport as a result of he doesn’t should preserve hitting drivers.
But the tough is thick after a number of rain lately, and there’s a good likelihood of extra Friday.
Mickelson, enjoying his final match earlier than the hometown U.S. Open at Torrey Pines subsequent month, went into the tough on his first swing of the day. While saving par on the 407-yard tenth, he shortly had the primary of his 5 bogeys at No. 11, the place he hit two photographs into the tough and one other right into a greenside bunker. He lastly made a birdie on the par-3 sixteenth from inside 5 toes, then instantly gave that stroke again at No. 17 with the primary two photographs into the tough earlier than a 44-foot shot right into a bunker.
“It was almost like I was trying a little too hard, and I wasn’t just calm and let it happen, and I was a little bit antsy,” Mickelson stated, then including the time period unsettled. “Like I just couldn’t quite get calmed down in that same frame of mind.”
Mickelson stated the course was very playable, even with the 15-20 mph winds, due to receptive greens. But he couldn’t preserve the ball within the fairway.
“You can’t play this course out of the rough because then you have tree trouble, which I had repeatedly, and I didn’t putt well,” he stated. “But I won the PGA, so I’ll see if I can get it turned around for tomorrow and get a little better focus, a little better energy.”