Lefty finishes Day 1 over par in first start since Open


AKRON, Ohio – Phil Mickelson knows how difficult it is to avoid a figurative hangover after winning a major, so he wasn’t surprised by his opening-round 2-over 72 at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational on Thursday.

“I am aware of it,” said the Open champion. “I'll try to make sure I'm a little bit more rested and sharp heading into the weekend. But it does happen. It's a good problem to have.”

It hasn’t been much of a problem for Mickelson in the past, though. In the starts after his first four major wins, he’s finished in second place twice.

WGC-Bridgestone Invitational: Articles, videos and photos

He didn’t blame Thursday’s score on any issue with his swing or putter.

“I had a hard time focusing,” he admitted. “Mentally I wasn't sharp. I could tell I was a little bit tired or I just wasn't able to see the shot clearly. I wasn't able to see the putt roll clearly. I had trouble seeing the shot chipping, and I just had a hard time mentally visualizing and seeing the shot today.

“But I'm not concerned. I mean, my swing and game still feels very sharp. I just need to get a little bit of rest tonight and see if I can come out tomorrow a little bit more focused and start to see a little bit clearer what I'm trying to do.”