Mickelson (67) enjoying elevation challenge in Mexico


MEXICO CITY – Phil Mickelson loves a challenge and the elevation this week at the WGC-Mexico Championship fits that bill perfectly.

“We're all facing trying to control the distances with your irons and how difficult that is at altitude,” said Mickelson, who birdied his final hole for a share of the Round 1 lead at 4 under par. “I'm having fun with it.”

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That elevation came into play on Lefty’s fourth hole when his drive sailed 379 yards. It was the third-longest drive of the day, behind Jhonattan Vegas' 387-yard drive that led the field. In fact, it wasn’t even the longest drive Mickelson has ever hit on the PGA Tour.

“I've done it, but it's been off the cart path,” he smiled. “[No.] 17 at Doral I hit the cart path and it was over 400 [yards].”

Actually, that drive in 2013 at this same event flew 450 yards during the first round and was the longest on Tour that season. It also included a better ending for Mickelson, who made birdie at the 17th hole in ’13, but bogeyed the fourth on Thursday in Mexico after chipping out of the trees and failing to get up and down.