Mickelson (69): 'Missed it in the right spots'


NAPA, Calif. – Phil Mickelson said he planned to focus on his driving during the upcoming offseason using biomechanics and more work with swing coach Andrew Getson.

On Thursday at the Safeway Open, he proved yet again that even with a shaky game off the tee Lefty can still compete at the highest level.

After beginning his 2016-17 PGA Tour season with back-to-back bogeys, Mickelson rebounded with three consecutive birdies and was bogey free the rest of the way for an opening 3-under 69.

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“Less than desirable,” was how Mickelson explained his play off the tee (he hit 5 of 14 fairways) on Thursday. “But I missed it in the right spots. The fairways are tough. Very few people are hitting fairways out here because they're tight, they turn and they're firm so balls are running through.”

The bigger issue for Mickelson, who was tied for 21st place and seven shots off the lead, was to keep his focus after an eventful few weeks that included the U.S. victory at this month’s Ryder Cup.

“I have to be careful energy wise because it's been a very emotional and long year, 2016 ending and culminating with the high of the Ryder Cup,” he said. “Last week I didn't have much time off, so I've got to just maintain energy.”