Mickelson's shoots bittersweet 69 in first round of U.S. Open

Mickelson’s shoots bittersweet 69 in first round of U.S. Open

Mickelson-usopen FARMINGDALE, N.Y. — Sentimental fan favorite Phil Mickelson went straight to the practice green after firing a one-under-par 69 in the first round of the U.S. Open at Bethpage Black on Friday, and it was easy to see why.Mickelson missed a short birdie putt on the par-3 third hole, similar-length par putts on the sixth and seventh holes, and then failed to convert on a roughly 12-foot birdie chance on his final hole, the ninth. In retrospect, he hit the ball so well that 69 may have been the highest score he could have shot.Still, Mickelson was in red numbers, which is no small accomplishment on a U.S. Open course. And while he trailed first-round leader Mike Weir by five shots, he also led Tiger Woods by five.After hitting seven of 14 fairways and 15 of 18 greens in regulation, and taking 31 putts, Mickelson did not speak to the print media after his round. Instead, he prepared for his second round, which was scheduled to start about 5:35 p.m. (Photo: Simon Bruty/SI)

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