Mickelson struggles to 77 in Valero opener


This wasn't the start that Phil Mickelson had in mind when he added the Valero Texas Open to his schedule last week.

Making his first appearance in San Antonio since 1992, Mickelson carded a 5-over 77 in the opening round at TPC San Antonio. He capped off his round with a double bogey on his final hole, No. 9, three-putting from inside 11 feet. It marks his highest score on the PGA Tour since a third-round 78 at last year's PGA Championship.

The 43-year-old got off to a rocky start, with two birdies and three bogeys across his first seven holes. He had five bogeys overall in addition to the double at No. 9, and did not record a birdie on his inward half. He hit only nine greens in regulation and took 32 putts.

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''I had been playing real well at home, so to come out and play like this is disappointing,'' Mickelson said. ''Just didn't feel quite sharp.''

With play delayed Thursday morning by fog, not all of the players in the field completed their first round by sunset. Mickelson's 77 tied for the highest score among the early wave, and of those that got all 18 holes in, he was better than only Billy Horschel, who shot an 80. Mickelson trails leaders Pat Perez, Danny Lee and Andrew Loupe by nine shots.

Still in search of his first top-10 finish of the 2013-14 PGA Tour season, Mickelson was a late addition to this week's field as he looks to find his form before heading to the Masters in two weeks. He is scheduled to tee it up next week in the Shell Houston Open, the final event on Tour before the season's first major.