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Bogeys bountiful for Phil in opening 1-over 73

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ORLANDO, Fla. – It was a quintessential Phil Mickelson round – six pars, seven bogeys, four birdies, an eagle and one dejected southpaw. It didn’t help matters that he three-putted his last two holes to sign for an eventful 1-over 73 at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

“Three-putting 17 and 18 it feels terrible walking off the course,” said Mickelson, who tied for 58th. “I hit it terribly today and thought par would be a pretty good score.”

Instead, Mickelson will be hard pressed to win his second Bay Hill title. Even more concerning is Lefty’s play heading into the year’s first major and his favorite tournament – the Masters.


Video: Lefty, Snedeker react to lackluster starts at API


Normally, Mickelson works out the kinks in his game in the run up to Augusta National the week before at the Shell Houston Open, which he won in 2011. This year, however, a scheduling change has moved the Houston stop ahead a week leaving the Texas Open as the prelude to the Masters.

For a player who has etched out a Hall of Fame career with a detailed routine, the change could make it difficult to claim his fourth green jacket next month.

“I had to make adjustments,” he said.