Mickelson feeling great, cards 68 in Round 1


HUMBLE, Texas – Phil Mickelson said receiving treatment within a half hour of his Valero Texas Open withdrawal might have saved his major chances.

It also helped him get into contention after a first-round 68 Thursday at the Shell Houston Open.

This was only his fifth round in the 60s this year on the PGA Tour, and easily the most surprising. Lefty hit 11 fairways and 15 greens and sits just three shots off the lead.

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“I’m surprised,” he said, “because I was worried when it happened about the Masters. I was certainly worried about Houston, but it healed a lot quicker. I felt great today. I didn’t feel any pain or discomfort and didn’t even think about it.”

Mickelson is still looking for his first top 10 on the PGA Tour this season. His best finish was a 14th-place finish at the WGC-HSBC Champions.