Mickelson’s First Round at the Players

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Phil Mickelson is tied for the clubhouse lead after a first round 67.
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"Probably the biggest [par] was the 7th hole, which was my 16th. It was late in the day, late in the round, and I was on an elevated green, and was able to hit that to three feet and make par," Mickelson said.
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Mickelson parred the 17th hole. "I was hoping that this 8-iron would find the surface. It didn't find the putting green, but it found the island, which is all I cared about. I just took a drop from that and was able to chip up to three feet and make that," he said.
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"[Butch Harmon and I] haven't worked on strategy or course management yet. I was saying earlier we might evolve into that, but right now it's getting the long game down, getting the misses down. The biggest thing that I'm noticing that's taking adjustment is that I'm not curving the ball as much right-to-left or left-to-right," Mickelson said.
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Mickelson had six birdies.
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"I like [the course] a lot more now because it incorporates the short game as a much more important part of the scoring. With the shaved areas around the greens, you have a variety of shots now that you can play. People are chipping with hybrids, chipping with lob wedges, chipping with 4- and 6-irons, and a lot of them are putting it, as well," he said.
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Mickelson's only bogey came on the par-4 14th hole.
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"I'm not swinging at it very hard this week, but I didn't lose any distance the last couple of weeks where I was going at it a little harder. Distance here is really not critical," Mickelson said.
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"I felt very good today. I hit a lot of good shots in some strong winds and was able to keep the ball in control, and my misses were very small and that allowed me to take a lot of the big trouble out of play that I had found in the past," Mickelson said.
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Mickelson finished at five under par.