Mickelson blows birdie putt, misses joining elite ’59′ club

Fitzgerald Cecilio – 4E Sports Reporter

Scottsdale, AZ, United States (4E Sports) – Phil Mickelson blew a chance of joining an elite club when he lipped out a birdie putt on the 18th hole to settle for a 60 Thursday in the first round of the Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale.

With the par putt, Mickelson missed joining the elite group of Al Geiberger, Chip Beck, David Duval, Paul Goydos and Stuart Appleby as the only PGA Tour players in history to shoot 59.

“I’m kind of mortified that didn’t go in,” Mickelson told the Golf Channel. “You just don’t get those chances very often.”

Mickelson shot 60 for the second time in his career, joining Zach Johnson as the only players in the PGA Tour with multiple rounds of 60 or better.

In 2005, Mickelson also shot 60 on the same TPC Scottsdale course and went on to that tournament.

Now, he is on course to win his first title since the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am for his 40th PGA Tour title nearly a year ago.

Mickelson fired 11 birdies in a bogey-free first round to grab a four-stroke lead over five players who submitted 64s, including Ryan Palmer, Brandt Snedeker, Padraig Harrington, Ted Potter Jr. and Jeff Maggert.

Nine players finished with 65s, composed of Brian Gay, who won the Humana Challenge in partnership with the Clinton Foundation two weeks ago, Nick Watney, Bill Haas, Nicolas Colsaerts, Matt Every, Y.E. Yang, Justin Leonard, Martin Flores and Hank Kuehne.

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