Phil Mickelson: 'Unsettling Feeling' Not Knowing All of the New Rules

Phil Mickelson: 'Unsettling Feeling' Not Knowing All of the New Rules

Phil Mickelson described his putting as "phenomenal" after equaling his astonishing 12-under-par opening round at the Desert Classic on Thursday.

LA QUINTA:Phil Mickelson came up just short of a magical 59 on Thursday after carding 10 birdies and an eagle for a 60 in his opening round of the year at the Desert Classic in Southern California.

Mickelson birdied the 18th but had missed a birdie putt at the previous hole that would have led to a sub-60 score.

It is one of three courses in use during the tournament, which includes the Nicklaus Tournament Course at PGA West and La Quinta Country Club.

Long fired a nine-under 63, while Australia's Curtis Luck is in third with a 64. And the bad shots that I hit, I got away with.

"I'm starting to drive the ball a lot longer and straighter than I have in a while and so that sets up nicely for that course", Mickelson said.

"It was a fun day but I certainly did not expect this to be the case, but I'm also excited to start the year so I was fresh".

"I feel like I can play it aggressively with the way I'm hitting it off the tee".

"I was giving it all I had, and I had a good chance", Mickelson said.

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Mickelson sank birdies on his first two holes and then made the turn in six-under 30.

Mickelson, who has twice carded 11-under rounds of 60 at the Phoenix Open, was eight under after 11 holes.

Luck has matched matched Mickelson with a tournament-leading 16 birdies, but both players will play the final two round on the tougher PGA West Stadium Course.

"You only get to number one in the world by playing consistently good golf and that's always been my goal, to try and get the best out of my game week-in, week-out", Rose said.

Hadwin had seven birdies and one bogy in a 66 at La Quinta, where Mickelson fashioned his 60 a day earlier. Hadwin had a 66 at La Quinta, where the Canadian shot 59 two years ago.

Henderson recovered from a shaky start which saw her bogey the second hole before a blistering back nine sent her surging up the scoreboard at the Four Seasons Golf and Sports Club in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

World No 1 Justin Rose shot a four-under 68 on the more hard Stadium Course.

He's the first No.1 player to play the tournament since the world rankings began in 1986.

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