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He might have come up one short in his bid to join the growing ranks of players to have broken 59 on the PGA Tour but Phil Mickelson’s 60 in the opening round of the Desert Classic was record-breaking nonetheless.

The 48-year-old needed to eagle the last at La Quinta to join the ranks of the tour’s sub-60 group. However, he could ‘only’ manage a birdie to post a 12-under 60 and take a three-shot lead after the opening round of his first event of 2019.

In doing so, he became the first player in the history of the PGA Tour with three rounds of 60 or lower. In each of the previous instances, he went on to win the tournament.

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The 12-under round was also the Mickelson’s best-ever score to par in 2,077 career rounds on the tour.

Phil Mickelson 2

Remarkably, the left-hander said afterwards that he had gone into the event feeling rusty after a long lay-off.

• Justin Rose’s caddie set to undergo heart surgery

Yesterday’s round was his first appearance since his much-vaunted ‘Match’ with Tiger Woods at the end of November.

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“I didn’t think this was going to be a day I would go low,” said Mickelson. “I came with low expectations. Sometimes you have days where it clicks and the bad shots I hit I got away with.”


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Michael McEwan is the Deputy Editor of bunkered and has been part of the team since 2004. In that time, he has interviewed almost every major figure within the sport, from Jack Nicklaus, to Rory McIlroy, to Donald Trump. The host of the multi award-winning bunkered Podcast and a member of Balfron Golfing Society, Michael is the author of three books and is the 2023 PPA Scotland 'Writer of the Year' and 'Columnist of the Year'. Dislikes white belts, yellow balls and iron headcovers. Likes being drawn out of the media ballot to play Augusta National.

Deputy Editor

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