Sports Out West

Phoenix Open 2013: Phil Mickelson has 2 Mickelson-like opening rounds

Photo by Jim Epler / Wikimedia Commons

Southern California native Phil Mickelson had another one of his famous wild rides on the golf course on Thursday and Friday at the Waste Management Phoenix Open

The four-time major champion shot a career-best tying 60 on Thursday and flirted with golf’s holy grail of 59 until a putt on his 18th hole cruelly lipped out and teased him into believing he had it made. He then followed that up on Friday with a 65, just one shot off the PGA TOUR record for the lowest 36-hole score previously set by Pat Perez in 2009 and subsequently tied by David Toms in 2011. 

Ironically, the 65 came with a double-bogey on his final hole of the day. It was vintage Mickelson in every sense, and it was, like always, a beautiful train wreck.

This time, however, he will come out of it with an opportunity to close the deal in convincing fashion as he currently holds a four-shot lead heading into the weekend at 17-under. He’ll have to contend with a host of hungry players chasing him, however, including 2011 FedEx Cup champion Bill Haas and 2011 PGA Championship winner Keegan Bradley four and five shots back. 

When Mickelson is good, the PGA TOUR is better for it — better still when he goes through these roller coaster ride rounds. Stay tuned. 

Round 3 of the Phoenix Open is set to begin at 8:50 a.m., local time. Mickekson will tee off alongside Bradley and Haas at 10:50 a.m. off the No. 1 tee. Television coverage will begin at 10 a.m. PT on the Golf Channel and will move over to NBC at noon. 

 

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Michael C. Jones is the managing editor and founder of Sports Out West and a Southern California-based sports journalist. His work is also regularly featured on Yahoo! Sports and SB Nation. You can catch up with him on Twitter: @MikeJonesTweets.