By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
The upside to Phil Mickelson's opening 1-over 71 Thursday was that he's still well within reach of the lead at the FedEx St. Jude Classic.
But he still left TPC Southwind disappointed.
"My short game was not good today," Mickelson said. "I made a mistake in some of my shot selection trying to hit some of the shots."
Mickelson's problems began on the 15th hole -- he started on the back nine -- when he missed the green left on his approach then pitched 30 feet past the hole. He made bogey.
A hole later things went from bad to worse when Mickelson's second shot on the par 5 landed in a greenside bunker and he hit over the putting surface on his third shot.
Mickelson's fourth shot found the sand again, and he took three more to get home for a double bogey.
The trouble continued on the 17th, where Mickelson came up just short of the green on the par 4, hit another poor chip shot and eventually made bogey.
The only thing that helped salvage Mickelson's round were three straight birdies on the front nine.
"I really feel like I'm striking the ball well," Mickelson said. "The score obviously isn't very good ... This is the first competitive round in a little while and I'm looking forward to (Friday's) round because I know that ball striking-wise, it's about as good as I've been striking it and I feel like there's a good round in me."