BETHESDA, Md. (AP) It took some prodding, but Phil Mickelson acknowledged that he felt pain in his left wrist during his opening-round 4-over-par 74 at the AT&T National on Thursday.
Mickelson told reporters that his injured wrist was "OK'' and "all right'' several times before conceding that it hurt during a lackluster round in which he made two bogeys, a double bogey and no birdies. He is playing in his first tournament since wrist pain hindered him when he missed the cut at the U.S. Open three weeks ago.
Mickelson was cleared to play this week by a doctor and does not plan to withdraw. He finished the day tied for 93rd.
"I expect it to be OK,'' Mickelson said. "I was told that it may hurt, but I won't be doing any more damage. So I've been going after it pretty good, and it does hurt, but as long as I am not doing any more damage I'm OK.''
Mickelson wore a brace on his wrist during Wednesday's pro-am, after which he said his wrist was "not quite a hundred'' percent.
He played without the brace on Thursday and instead blamed his putting for his score. Mickelson double-bogeyed the par-4 sixth after his only three-putt of the round.
"I was a little rustier today than I thought I would be,'' said Mickelson, who finished with 30 putts. "I had been playing all last week. I thought I was playing pretty well and ... hit a reasonable number of good shots, but I scored terrible. The course wasn't that hard to keep it around par or under, and I really struggled on the greens. I didn't make any putts.''
WHITE HOUSE VISIT Mickelson was one of seven golfers who, along with their families, celebrated the Fourth of July at the White House with President Bush on Wednesday evening.
The group toured the White House, ate dinner and watched fireworks on an evening that doubled as a birthday celebration for the President, who turns 61 on Friday. Fred Funk, Brad Faxon, Justin Leonard, Davis Love III, Paul Azinger and Jeff Maggert also attended.