• The American thought his 18ft putt was destined to drop
• "It was heartbreaking," said the 46-year-old
PHIL MICKELSON | THE OPEN
Phil Mickelson says he now believes there’s a ’62 curse’ after an agonising lip-out prevented him from becoming the first player in major championship history to shoot a round of 62.
The 46-year-old was left with an 18ft putt on the final hole and, unbelievably, saw his ball clip the right edge and head away from the cup, resulting in a wry smile from the disbelieving American.
And it was no consolation that he shattered the Royal Troon Old Course record, which was set by Greg Norman at 64 in 1989 before being matched by Tiger Woods in 1997.
“It was one of the best round that I’ve ever played and yet, I want to shed a tear right now,” said Phil Mickelson. “That putt on 18 was the opportunity to do something historical. I knew it. And with a foot to go, I thought I had done it. I saw the ball roll to the centre and had that surge of adrenaline that I’d just shot 62 – and then I had the heartbreak that I didn’t.”
“When I saw that ball lip out well, it stings. It was such a rare opportunity to do something historical and if it was weak and never had a chance, so be it. But this ball was right in the centre and it didn’t go. It was heartbreaking.”
For Phil Mickelson, it meant he became the 28th player to shoot a round of 63 and asked to explain why there had been no 62s, he offered a fantastic response.
“It’s obvious – there’s a curse,” he said. “If there wasn’t a curse, that ball would’ve went in and I would’ve had that 62. I didn’t believe in the golf gods, but I do now!”
Amid the chaos of the near-62, Mickelson has quietly established a three-shot lead on the opening day and says he is relishing the heavy rain that has been forecast for tomorrow. Martin Kaymer and Patrick Reed head the chasing pack on five-under-par.
Phil Mickelson :: Falls short of major history
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