The Norman Transcript

National Sports

February 1, 2013

Mickelson shoots 60 at Phoenix Open

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Phil Mickelson pointed his putter at the cup and started to walk toward the hole, ready to celebrate golf’s magic number.

Right at the end, though, the ball caught the right edge of the cup, curled 180 degrees to the other side of the hole and stayed out. A fraction of inch turned cheers to gasps and cost him a 59 on Thursday in the first round of the Phoenix Open.

“Six feet to go, it was in the center,” Mickelson said. “Three feet to go, it was in the center. A foot to go, it was in the center, and even as it’s approaching the hole, I couldn’t envision which side of the hole it could possibly miss on, and it ended up somehow just dying off at the end, catching the lip.”

His caddie, Jim Mackay, fell to his knees and stayed there several seconds.

Playing partners Jason Dufner and Rickie Fowler also watched in disbelief when the 25-foot birdie putt lipped out.

“Unlucky,” Dufner said. “He was walking it in.”

“I thought it was in,” Fowler said. “I was pulling for him.”

Mickelson settled for an 11-under 60 at TPC Scottsdale, matching the tournament record he already shared with Grant Waite and Mark Calcavecchia.

“Well, 60 is awesome,” Mickelson said. “Last time I shot 60 here in ‘05, I birdied like the last three or four holes just to do that, and I was ecstatic, and I’m ecstatic to shoot 60. But there’s a big difference between 60 and 59. Not that big between 60 and 61, there really isn’t. But there’s a big barrier, a Berlin Wall barrier, between 59 and 60.

“I shot it in the PGA Grand Slam of Golf. I shot 58 in a practice round. But to do it in a tournament would have been historic for me, something I’d always remember, and I’ll always remember that putt on the last hole probably, too.”

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