Saturday, January 20, 2018
Golf

Mickelson struggles in first round of PGA's Texas Open

SAN ANTONIO, Texas — Long after the fog cleared at TPC San Antonio, Phil Mickelson remained shrouded in an increasingly alarming funk with the Masters two weeks away.

Mickelson shot 5-over 77 Thursday in the Texas Open to fall nine strokes back during the suspended first round. It was Lefty's highest score since 78 in August at the PGA Championship.

"I had been playing real well at home, so to come out and play like this is disappointing," Mickelson said. "Just didn't feel quite sharp."

In his previous two starts, Mickelson missed the cut in the Honda Classic and tied for 16th three weeks ago at Doral in the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship. He made his only other Texas Open appearance in 1992, so long ago that the event was only his 11th professional start on the PGA Tour.

Pat Perez and Danny Lee shot 4-under 68 to share the clubhouse lead, and Andrew Loupe was 4 under with seven holes to play when darkness forced the suspension of play. The start was delayed 2 hours, 40 minutes because of fog, and 45 players were unable to finish the round.

Area resident Cameron Beckman, Puerto Rico Open winner Chesson Hadley, Will McKenzie and Seung-Yul Noh shot 69, and Miguel Angel Carballo and Justin Hicks also were 3 under. Carballo had four left, and Hicks three.

Jim Furyk, Zach Johnson and Matt Kuchar shot 70.

Defending champion Martin Laird opened with 72, matching John Senden, who won the Valspar Championship two weeks ago at Innisbrook in Palm Harbor, and Jeff Maggert, a winner last week in Mississippi in his Champions Tour debut.

The fog kept temperatures in the 50s before it burned off and gave way to readings in the 80s.

"This morning it was freezing, and I hit balls (on the practice range) in four layers of clothes," Perez said. "Now, I'm sweating."

LPGA: Paula Creamer easily overcame tricky morning wind conditions in the Kia Classic at Carlsbad, Calif., for a share of the first-round lead with Mariajo Uribe. Creamer and Uribe shot 5-under 67 to finish a stroke ahead of Cristie Kerr, Shanshan Feng, Jodi Ewart Shadoff and Mi Hyang Lee.

Voting on women: A day after the Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews said it would vote later this year to admit its first female members, ESPN reported that Muirfield, another prominent club in Scotland where the British Open was played last year, also said it would study the matter. Muirfield is one of three on the nine-course Open rotation that does not have female members. The others: Royal Troon in Scotland and Royal St. George's in England.

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