Thursday, July 14

Phil Mickelson's 63 at Royal Troon: 'It Was Kind of Easy'

PHIL MICKELSON GRABBED THE LEAD in the first round of the 2016 Open Championship at Royal Troon. The 2013 Open champion fired an 8-under 63, which included a lip-out on the 18th green that, had it dropped, would have been the first 62 in a major championship.

Mickelson had no bogeys on his card, hit a bunch of fairways and greens, and only needed 26 putts.

"I felt like it was kind of easy, like I didn't try to do too much," Phil told Golf Channel's Steve Sands.

"I just kind of kept the ball in play, and hit good shots and made some putts. I didn't feel like I was overworking… I knew walking up 17 if I could make [the putt] I've got a shot at the lowest round in a major. That 17th hole is a really hard par-3 and I hit one of the best 4 irons to have that putt at it and to see that ball go in."

As only he can (that is, a bit dramatically), Lefty also shared his thoughts on the missed putt on the final green. 

"It started on my line and it was right in the center of the hole with a foot to go. It breaks to the left and then it straightens out, and it went back to the right a little bit harder. [I] saw these highlights [from his round] and yet I feel like crying. I don't know what to say. I don't know how that ball missed because it was perfect speed in the center with a foot to go… As great a round as this was… I'm not going to have a chance to do something historical like that [again] most likely. Maybe if I'm lucky, one other time. That was a chance to do something historical right there. At least I could have hit a big old flail and not even had a chance, but that ball was right in the center. It's heartbreaking."

Martin Kaymer and Patrick Reed share second after 5-under 66s.

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