What cold? Mickelson off to a hot start at Phoenix Open - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Valley And State

What cold? Mickelson off to a hot start at Phoenix Open

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Posted: Thursday, February 3, 2011 6:50 pm | Updated: 3:55 pm, Thu Mar 3, 2011.

It's never difficult to find Phil Mickelson at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. Follow the crowds and the noise and you will eventually track him down.

He stood out even more during Thursday's first round at the TPC of Scottsdale. He was virtually the only player in the field not wearing some sort of winter wear. Just his short sleeve shirt. No special undershirt, no winter jacket, nothing.

"I don't know how he did it," playing partner Bill Haas said.

"It felt great out there," Mickelson said. "It really wasn't as difficult as I expected."

By that he meant the cold weather and the condition of the golf course. Other than bogeys on his first and last holes, Mickelson was outstanding with a score of 4-under-par 67. He is two shots behind leader Tom Lehman heading into the second round.

Mickelson is following up a second-place finish at San Diego's Farmer's Insurance Open at Torrey Pines last week. The two-time champion is looking for his first win here since 2005.

"I'm confident because I can really feel that I'm playing well," Mickelson said. "Today I just didn't score anywhere near as low as I felt I should based on how I'm playing. I'm looking forward to getting out there in the next couple of days. I'm excited because I can feel it really coming around."

Mickelson had six birdies on Thursday including deuces on the two par 3's on the front nine, the fourth and the seventh.

Mickelson was part of one of Thursday's featured pairings the PGA Tour is implementing. He likes the idea of putting the best players in the same groups during the early rounds of golf tournaments saying it draws more interest. He was paired with last week's Tour winner, Bubba Watson,

and Haas.

"I thought they had some fun pairings,' Mickelson said. "Last week I thought putting Tiger and Rocco Mediate together was a really cool thing."

The last time Mediate and Woods were paired together at Torrey Pines was at the 2008 U.S. Open when Woods beat Mediate in an 18-hole playoff.

 

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