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Mickelson struggles in opening round at Greenbrier

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WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W. Va. – Following his fifth career over-par round in five tries at The Greenbrier Classic, Phil Mickelson weighed in with his own version of “It’s not me; it’s you.”

After missing the cut in each of the last two editions of this tournament, Mickelson posted an opening-round 4-over 74 that left him scratching his head.

“I don't know what it is,” he admitted. “I felt like I was playing really well heading in here and I don't play this course well. I don't know what the reasoning is; it's just giving me problems the last few years.”

Playing his first event since a runner-up finish at the U.S. Open three weeks ago, Mickelson endured an up-and-down day that had him at even par through 16 holes. A triple bogey on 17 and bogey on 18, though, left him a dozen strokes off the lead and well behind the projected cut line going into the second round.

“I'm not really that worried,” he said of trying to make the cut. “I'm so far back that I just want to play a solid round and see what that does. I'm not having a problem off the tee; I hit some poor iron shots, but I'm hitting good ones, too, and I'm hitting every putt really solid. And I'm struggling reading these greens, really having a hard time on the 5- and 6-footers. They look so straight to me and they're moving quite a bit. So I'm having a tough time adjusting to this golf course. It's subtly challenging.”