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Watch: Phil makes six birdies, nearly makes ace

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Phil Mickelson shot 3-under 68 in the first round of The Northern Trust, despite hitting only three of 14 fairways. His game was sharper on Friday and the birdies flowed early.

Beginning on the ninth hole of the composite course at Ridgewood Country Club, Mickelson got birdie No. 1.

And then made it back-to-back birdies at the 10th.

Following a third consecutive birdie at No. 11, where he nearly made a hole-in-one, Mickelson made it four in a row at the 12th.

Mickelson led by two shots, at 7 under par, at that point. He dropped a shot at the par-5 13th, but did have this nifty chip off the putting surface.

He then bounced back with a birdie at No. 14 to reclaim a two-stroke advantage. And after four consecutive pars, he made this birdie at the first to reach 8 under and break from the closing pack.

Mickelson held the lead for much of the morning, but closed with bogeys on his final two holes for a 3-under 68. At 6 under par, he was one off the clubhouse lead.