SANDWICH, England – Phil Mickelson made no birdies and had 8 shooters and one double shot, and his score of Thursday 80 at Royal St. George’s was his second highest ever in 93 rounds played at The Open.
“I did not see it coming,” Mickelson told his coach Andrew Getson as he left the points area. He did not want to say much else.
“I’m in last place,” he said. “I’ll try to do better tomorrow.” ‘
Mickelson shot 85 during the third round of The 1988 Open.
Mickelson, 51, who became the oldest major championship winner at the PGA Championship two months ago, had cautious optimism this week about playing well.
He arrived at the venue on Sunday and spoke on Monday about the taste of Royal St. George’s, where he finished second Darren Clarke in 2011.
But Mickelson had little on Thursday. He hit just six clean sheets and only eight greens. He took 35 set shots. And he shot his highest opening round relative to track figure in any major championship, 10 above track figure. His previous worst points were 9 times during last year’s US Open at Winged Foot and 9 over during the opening round of the 2008 Open at Royal Birkdale. He was tied up for last with Deyen Lawson, who also shot an 80 Thursday.
Since winning the PGA, Mickelson has missed the cut in the Charles Schwab, which tied for 62nd at the U.S. Open, for 51st place on the Travelers and 74th at the Rocket Mortgage Classic. He’s on his way to a missed track at The Open.