July 28 2011
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W. Va. -- Phil Mickelson wasn't particularly pleased with the even-par 70 he shot in the first round of The Greenbrier Classic.
He didn't have much time to dwell on it, though. After all, he had a date to go white-water rafting with his wife Amy and their three kids on Thursday afternoon.
Still, Mickelson knows he'll need to do better on Friday to extend the family's stay at The Greenbrier into the weekend. But there will be time before his 12:40 p.m. tee time to work out the kinks with his putter which he used 31 times in the first round.
Mickelson had some flashes on Thursday, though. He started on the back nine and turned in 1 under, then birdied No. 1 to get on the leaderboard. But Mickelson made four bogeys over his next eight holes and just two birdies to finish at even par.
"It was a disappointing overall score for me, because I played
well enough to score low," said Mickelson, who is making his debut
at The Greenbrier Classic. "I missed six putts inside six feet, and
I just can't do that.
"I ended up making some longer ones, which was good, to offset it. But I've got to get this turned around for tomorrow."
Mickelson did enjoy the company on Thursday, though, as he played with defending champion Stuart Appleby and teed it up in competition with Tom Watson for the first time. Appleby shot 71 while Watson, the pro emeritus at The Greenbrier who skipped the U.S. Senior Open to play here, had a 75.
"It's great to see him playing in a regular TOUR event,"
Mickelson said. "It's great to see him back out here playing. Gosh,
he strikes it so well and so solid. He made some great putts early
on. Looked like he was going to have a good round. Unfortunately
didn't turn out that way.
"But he still has so much game."