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.
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.”