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No peaceful, easy feeling for Mickelson as he adjusts to new rules

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Phil Mickelson will need a little more practice before he attempts to leave in the flagstick again on the greens.

His 10-foot birdie putt on the par-5 fourth hole never had a chance.

“It felt very uncomfortable,” he told reporters afterward. “I kind of eased into it, thinking that if I hit it too hard it might hit the pin and miss. So I don’t think I’ll do that again.”


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This is Mickelson’s first start of 2019, so he’s still getting used to some of the new rules that were implemented.

On the 18th hole, after rinsing his approach shot, Mickelson briefly forgot that any drop needs to be from knee height, not shoulder height. Fortunately for him, a rules official was standing nearby to walk him through the drop.

“I feel uncomfortable right now because I don’t know them well enough and I’ve been trying to get a seminar to learn them all, and I just haven’t had time or a chance to,” he said. “Playing this game, not knowing the rules, is an unsettling feeling. So hopefully I’ll figure it out and I’ll be able to get a seminar and learn them.”