UNIVERSITY PLACE, Wash. – It was a sign of Phil Mickelson’s day that during his post-round talk with reporters it was a par save at the first hole and a 15-footer for bogey at the 14th hole that stood out from his round of 69 at the U.S. Open.
Mickelson opened his day with an approach shot that ran down a steep hill at the first and required a delicate chip to a few feet to keep from sliding backwards early.
“The shot I had on No. 1 I think is the kind of shot I feel will allow me to do well here,” said Mickelson, who turned at 3 under after birdies at Nos. 3, 5 and 8 and was alone atop the leaderboard.
Lefty wasn’t as sharp on his inward loop at Chambers Bay, with bogeys at Nos. 10, 13 and 14, but he was still encouraged thanks to his scrambling miscue at the 14th hole when he went from bunker to bunker and ran his lengthy par attempt well past the hole.
“That was a big one,” said Mickelson, who fist pumped his bogey putt at the 14th. “To make that one and not make any doubles was big for me.”
Mickelson has finished runner-up at the U.S. Open six times and would complete the career Grand Slam this week with a victory.