British Open: Phil Mickelson hits some bombs but fizzles in Round 1

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British Open: Phil Mickelson hits some bombs but fizzles in Round 1

2019 British Open

British Open: Phil Mickelson hits some bombs but fizzles in Round 1

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PORTRUSH, Northern Ireland – Mickelson Light fell flat.

Playing his first competitive round since reshaping his body and rousing his mental clarity, Phil Mickelson looked lethargic en route to a 5-over-par 76 in Thursday’s opening round of the 148th British Open.

After a six-day fast and the introduction of yoga, hikes and a new diet featuring nothing but fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, Lefty lost 18 pounds in 15 days and said he was bursting with energy ahead of the Open.

But while he’s definitely thinner, Mickelson looked like he lost his touch at Royal Portrush. The 2013 Open champion, who contemplated not playing in the oldest championship in golf this year, also lost his voice following the round as he refused to speak with the media. But his play spoke volumes.

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Dressed in black from head to toe, he wasted golden opportunities early in his round with poor chip shots and a couple futile putts from short range for birdies.

His play off the tee wasn’t much better as he made seven bogeys in all. Even when he drove the 368-yard par-4 5th – in Mickelson parlance, it was a bomb – he raced his eagle putt six feet past the hole and then missed his birdie chance.

Mickelson’s only highlights as he played alongside Shane Lowry, who was among the early pace-setters with a 67, were birdies on the par-5 7th – when another one of his bombs set him up perfectly – and on the par-4 14th from short range.

Heading into the Open, Mickelson, who had missed four cuts in his last six starts, said his expectations were limited and all he was going to try and do was have fun in a tournament he cherishes. So far, that approach hasn’t gone as planned.

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