The 5-under-par round on the par-70 course tied him with Jim Furyk for the opening-day lead Thursday. For Mickelson, a win here would be a stroll through the history books ' again, he says.
Winning this tournament was a very special feeling because not only was it winning a prestigious event, but I also felt like I became a part of the history of this tournament, with the likes of Ben Hogan and Craig Wood, said Mickelson.
Furyk bogeyed the fourth and fifth holes, but birdied two of the final four to also get to 5-under. Those are two tough holes, he said. Theyre just tough golf holes and I didnt hit the best of shots.
But I hit some good shots and I might have missed some decent putts out there. But I may have gotten away with some, too.
It was putting that placed Mickelson at the top. He rolled in a couple of 35-footers and a 20-footer, mixed in with a couple in the 10-foot range. He didnt miss any from short range, which he has shown a frustrating ability to do the last couple of years.
Im reading the greens well, Mickelson agreed. I made a couple of nice putts out there. I felt confident and I made some long ones to put me in this position.
Mickelson was surprised that the greens staff watered heavily Wednesday night. The course was much faster for the practice rounds.
The scoring was not as low as I thought it would be under these conditions, he said. But it is always difficult to light it up here. This is not a golf course you can go out and overpower.
Brain Gay shot 4-under 66 and said he's playing just like he always has. Only Thursday, the result was much improved.
I havent changed anything, Gay said. Im using the same equipment. But its funny ' last week at the Byron Nelson, I thought I was hitting my irons well and I finished 46th. Im a lot more confident now, and Ive made eight cuts in row.
An interesting sidelight was the play of 51-year-old Tom Kite. Kite rarely plays a regular-tour event nowadays but has always played Colonial. But starting on the front, Kite had it all the way to 4-under, one off the lead, through 11 holes.
Then he, like Furyk and so many others, came to the brutal fourth and fifth holes. And he, like Furyk, bogeyed both. Kite finished at 70.
Full-field scores from the MasterCard Colonial