He bogeyed his opening hole, then double-bogeyed four holes later. At an event where low scores can be posted, he was quickly 3 over and well off the pace.
“I felt like I was a little anxious starting the round, because I felt like my game was really where I wanted it to be,” he explained. “I feel like I'm driving the ball well and hitting some good shots. I came out and I just made a bunch of dumb mistakes and I'm 3 over.”
Mickelson turned things around just as quickly, though.
He birdied his final two holes of his opening nine – Nos. 17 and 18 – then put up three more in his second nine without another bogey, shooting 2-under 69 to remain in the mix after the first round.
“I made a birdie on 17 and followed with one on 18, and that really turned the round back around. I ended up playing the front 9 really solid with 3-under and hit a lot of good shots on some holes I made pars, as well, and feel much better. This was an important thing for me, because I'm in a position now if I get hot tomorrow I can get right back in it. If I end up shooting 1-over, 2-over, I end up having to get a hot round just to get in the middle of the pack, so this was a big round to get it to under par.”