So far in 2016, Phil Mickelson has showed signs he’s close to picking up his first PGA Tour win since his earning his fifth major title at the 2013 British Open. He finished tied for third at the CareerBuilder Challenge and, after a disappointing missed cut at Torrey Pines, last week finished T-11 at the Waste Management Phoenix Open.
Now Mickelson is off to another good start on the Monterey Peninsula, perhaps the place friendliest to the left-hander in his career. A four-time champion of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, Mickelson opened Thursday with 4-under 68 at Spyglass Hill Golf Course, one of three courses in the tournament rotation.
That leaves him four shots off the lead of Chez Reavie, who shot 8-under 63 on the Shore Course at Monterey Peninsula Country Club.
In his short off-season, Mickelson started working with new teacher Andrew Getson after ending an eight-year relationship with Butch Harmon. The results, clearly, have been promising. However, unlike after the CareerBuilder, where Mickelson said he was perhaps a week away from winning, he was a little more tepid in assessing his ceiling this week.
“If I continue to get better like I think I have been, I should have a good result here,” he said. “So we’ll see how these next few rounds go.”
Mickelson will be making at least one change before his Friday second round at Monterey Peninsula. He made a switch in the weighting of his Callaway XR driver before his Thursday round — in search of more distance compared to what he saw in Phoenix last week — and the results left him unhappy.
“Well, like an idiot I switched drivers, and today I hit a few shots that I haven’t hit,” Mickelson said. “I hit some shots I didn’t care for today. So I’ll go back to my other (Callaway) driver.”
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