Published: Sun, January 20, 2019
Sport | By Patty Hardy

Phil Mickelson cards career-best 12-under 60 at Desert Classic

Phil Mickelson cards career-best 12-under 60 at Desert Classic

Five-time major championship victor Phil Mickelson flirted with a 59 in the opening round of the US PGA Tour's Desert Classic on Thursday, settling for the third round of 60 in his storied career.

The 48-year-old left-hander still shot a 12-under 60 in the Desert Classic, tying his career-low score he last shot in the Phoenix Open six years ago.

Mickelson birdied the par-4 fifth and sixth holes, the par-5 seventh and closed with another on No. 9.

The five-times major champion needed birdies on his final two holes to become just the 11th player to record a sub-60 round on the PGA Tour but a par on 17 scuppered his chances.

"It really wasn't as hard a shot as I made it look, " Mickelson said about his approach on 18. The last two years I've done a good job of improving my putting.

The American enjoyed a level-career best 60 at La Quinta Country Club on day one that saw him three shots ahead as play got under way at the Nicklaus Tournament Course on Friday.

PGA West's Stadium Course in La Quinta, California is the host course for the 60th anniversary of the Desert Classic.

"It was kind of a lucky day for me in the sense that I did not feel sharp heading in", said Mickelson, who is in his 28th year on the PGA Tour.

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

Australia's Curtis Luck was alone in third after firing a bogey-free round of eight-under 64. Teryn Schaefer presents the best social media posts from around the world of golf in "Good, Bad & Unusual" and after each day's play brings you the biggest talking points in "The Takeaway". "I had a decent lie after dropping off the cart path, but I had the ball a little bit below my feet and a slight uphill lie, which the tendency on those shots is to pull it and I just didn't adjust for that very well and I pulled it right in the water".

England's Justin Rose was also on the Nicklaus on Friday and also carded a 68, lifting him up the leaderboard into an 18-strong pack tied for 28th.

"Once I got going I felt like I played really well", said Rose. "We have three full rounds on some challenging courses ..."

Mickelson, the tournament victor in 2002 and 2004, will play the final two rounds on PGA West's Stadium Course.

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