Sunday, 21 July, 2019

Phil Mickelson cards career-best 12-under 60 at Desert Classic

Phil Mickelson Phil Mickelson stays ahead at Desert Classic after 68 in California
Andrew Wong | 20 January, 2019, 06:57

Rose can expect stiff competition from Spain's defending champion Jon Rahm while two-time former victor Phil Mickelson is also in the field.

The 22-year-old Luck is outright second through two rounds after he backed up his opening 64 with a 66 at the Nicklaus course in La Quinta today.

The Desert Classic is a pro-am tournament with 72 holes played over three courses; the Nicklaus, La Quinta and the Stadium Course at PGA West. The 48-year-old left-hander still shot a 12-under 60 in the Desert Classic, tying his career-low score he last shot in the Phoenix Open six years ago.

Mickelson insisted earlier this week that he felt "rusty" following his long winter break, but he wasted no time in getting back into the groove as he lit up the first day of the tournament with a 12-under 60 - his lowest score in relation to par of his 27-year professional career.

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Mickelson, the tournament victor in 2002 and 2004, will play the final two rounds on PGA West's Stadium Course.

"I actually felt better striking it but I didn't putt very well today, certainly relative to yesterday where I was making everything", Mickelson said.

Australian Curtis Luck sits in sole possession of second place following a six-under-par 66 on day two of the PGA Tour tournament. On his opening nine, he birdied the par-5 11th and par-3 12th, then gave back the strokes with a double bogey after hitting into the water on the par-4 18th. "I feel like I can play aggressively with the way I'm hitting it off the tee". I haven't really had the intense practice sessions I would like. "I just have to keep that going the next couple of days". Check in for highlights from every tournament plus player interviews, player profiles, tournament previews, swing analysis and all the greatest shots and fantastic moments.

"If you shoot six-, seven-under par on the Nicklaus course that's a good solid round", he said.

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World number one Justin Rose also improved to move into a tie for 28th at eight under following back-to-back 68s.

LPGA - Brooke Henderson kept out of trouble and kept bogeys off her card on her way to a 4-under 67 and a two-shot lead in the Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions, the winners-only start to the LPGA Tour season.

"I really didn't think that this was going to be a day that I was going to go low", said Mickelson, who tweeted prior to his round that he was "a bit rusty, but also fresh and ready to get started". He's the first No. 1 player to play the tournament since the world ranking began in 1986.

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