AUGUSTA, Ga. – Phil Mickelson could barely keep his ball in the fairway in Thursday’s first round of the Masters, but he managed to salvage a respectable start with his short game.
Despite some wild drives, hitting just four fairways, Mickelson shot 2-under-par 70 to position himself in a tie for 14th.
“I missed it in spots where I could get up and down, in spots that I knew the chip,” Mickelson said. “I scrambled well today.”
Tiger Woods said earlier in the week that a large reason Mickelson won last year is that he consistently missed shots in good positions.
Mickelson was 15th after the first round in 2004, when he won the first of his three green jackets. He was fourth after the first round when he won in ’06 and second when he won last year.
“It’s OK,” Mickelson said of his position. “I didn’t shoot myself out of it.”
Mickelson considered using two drivers Thursday, one with a longer shaft for power and another for more control, but he decided to use just one driver and put a 3-iron back in his bag.
“I thought I was going to need a 3-iron on the fourth hole and possibly 15,” Mickelson said. “I also was driving it really well last week and didn’t want to overthink it or mess with it.”