Friday, July 15, 2016

Phil Mickelson's near-ace highlights flawless first nine at British Open

Phil Mickelson torched Royal Troon on Thursday, missing an alltime major-record 62 by less than the width of a golf ball. For Mickelson, the question always is, how will he handle prosperity? The answer on Friday: quite well.

Mickelson controlled his game in a way we haven’t often seen in his career, and carded three birdies on the front nine to push his total to -11 and extend his lead to as many as five strokes over the field. The highlight came at the Postage Stamp, the fearsome eighth, where Mickelson avoided complications entirely by nearly acing the darn thing.

Mickelson also caught a real break with the weather; rains held off until he made the turn, and winds didn’t well up for most of his round. He probably won’t play as well over the weekend, but he won’t have to, since nastier conditions likely mean no one else will, either.

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Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports and the author of EARNHARDT NATION, on sale now at Amazon or wherever books are sold. Contact him at [email protected] or find him on Twitter or on Facebook.

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