Feb 2, 2014; Scottsdale, AZ, USA; Phil Mickelson awaits his turn on the tee of the third hole during the final round of the Waste Management Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale. Mandatory Credit: Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports

Phil Mickelson Shoots 68 in Houston, Great Sign for Augusta

Behind Eldrick “Tiger” Woods, Phil Mickelson, the 5 time major winner, is the most popular man in golf.

Phil, who’s also commonly referred to as “lefty,” is one who loves The Masters. He’s one who relishes the chance to compete on the hallowed grounds that are Augusta National, and he is one that rarely misses a tournament due to injury.

So this week, when Lefty pulled out of Wednesday’s Shell Houston Pro-Am, many were worried. Many feared the severe blow that Phil pulling out would put in The Masters’s viewership. But it’s Lefty we’re talking about. If you haven’t already figured out, with Mr. Mickelson, you better expect the unexpected.

Phil chose to give it a go for the actual tournament in Houston this week, and following his opening round, many will support that choice.

Mickelson came out steady. And when I say steady, you better believe it.

Lefty took the course and converted three pars to start, but then birdied the 4th hole along with the 8th to take a -2 round — with no bogeys — into the turn.

On the back 9, Mickelson continued his rock-solid morning with a birdie on the 12th and another one on the 18th to cap his bogey-free round and to take his -4, 68, into the clubhouse.

After the round, Mickelson spoke to the Golf Channel only to cement his status as “good to go” for next week, “I’m surprised,” he said, “because I was worried when it happened about the Masters. I was certainly worried about Houston, but it healed a lot quicker. I felt great today. I didn’t feel any pain or discomfort and didn’t even think about it.”

So, yeah. Phil Mickelson, who was thought to be chancing his “strained oblique muscle” by playing this week, proved doubters wrong on day 1. And barring any particular setback, it appears as if Lefty is feeling and playing with a high level of confidence heading into the year’s first major. 

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Tags: Pro Golf Now

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