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The Tour Report
  • Mickelson to begin second round Saturday morning

  • Weather didn't permit Phil Mickelson to get his second round underway on Friday. (Getty Images/Sam Greenwood)Weather didn't permit Phil Mickelson to get his second round underway on Friday. (Getty Images/Sam Greenwood)

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Phil Mickelson took his time Thursday, and it paid off with a fast start at the FedEx St. Jude Classic. He'll have to wait until Saturday to see if he can continue his good form.

Mickelson shot 3-under 67 on Thursday. He didn't hit a single shot Friday; his group was on the first tee when play was suspended for the day at 2:15 p.m.

Mickelson said he spent more time Thursday trying to visualize his next shot. He's been trying to improve that area of his mental game for several weeks. This is his last opportunity before the U.S. Open to create a clearer mental picture.

"I'm trying to take a little more time behind the shot, doing a better job visualizing the shot," he said. "The thing that's really helped me, I've been more creative, curving the ball more with the irons to try to get it close to the hole rather than just hitting a stock shot without curvature."

All eyes will be on Mickelson next week as he tries to complete the career Grand Slam at Pinehurst No. 2. Last year, a runner-up finish at this event helped Mickelson contend at the year's second major. He held the lead over the final holes at Merion Golf Club before finishing second, his sixth runner-up at the U.S. Open.

Mickelson won The Open Championship in July, leaving him one U.S. Open victory from completing the career Grand Slam. Pinehurst No. 2 was the site of his first U.S. Open runner-up, to Payne Stewart in 1999.

Mickelson has struggled this season, though, failing to post a top-10 in 13 PGA TOUR starts. He made birdie on three of his final four holes Thursday to post his fifth opening round in the 60s this season. 

"It's something I've been struggling with, finishing the round strong," he said. He played his final three holes in 5 over in the first round of last week's Memorial Tournament to shoot 72. He was a combined 8 over par on the final three holes of each round last week.

Some help from his caddie, Jim Mackay, helped Mickelson finish strong. He asked for Mackay's help in reading a putt on the third hole, his 12th of the day, and asked for Mackay's aid on virtually every putt for the remainder of the round.

"It's kind of a win-lose for him," Mickelson joked. "He did his job great but that means now I'm going to have him work a little bit harder."

Phil Mickelson highlights from Round 1 at FedEx St. Jude
  • Highlights

    Phil Mickelson highlights from Round 1 at FedEx St. Jude

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