Mickelson went out early during the third round, carding a 2-under 68 that left him at 1 under for the tournament. Just two weeks ago he shot the 28th round of 63 ever in a major, a mark that has since been tied by Henrik Stenson and more recently Robert Streb.
With accessible pins and soft conditions, Mickelson thinks the scoring record that has stood as the standard for decades in men’s majors could soon fall.
“I think that major record of 63 will be broken today or tomorrow,” Mickelson said. “I think there’s a 61 or 62 out there because it’s a par 70, the greens are pristine, they’re rolling beautifully, and they’re soft. There’s just a lot of birdie holes.”
Of the 37 rounds that were completed before play was suspended at 2:15 p.m. ET for inclement weather, 27 were even-par 70 or better, led by matching 5-under 65s turned in by Padraig Harrington and Kevin Kisner.
Justin Rose was among those who took advantage of the relatively easy conditions early on, shooting a 66 on his 36th birthday, and he agreed with Mickelson’s scoring prediction.
“I’ve just got a vague feeling there might be a 62 today,” Rose said. “I’m not saying it’s that easy, but anyone who gets under par through the first six or seven holes, it’s on. The course is there for the taking and the back nine is full of chances.”