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Phil Mickelson shoots 66 to share Furyk & Buddies lead with Matt Gogel

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Phil Mickelson shot a 6-under 66 on Friday for a share of the first-round lead with Matt Gogel within the PGA Tour Champions’ Constellation Furyk & Buddies Invitational.

Attempting to win for the third time in 4 profession begins on the 50-and-over tour, Mickelson had seven birdies and a bogey on the Donald Ross-designed Timuquana Nation Membership course within the spherical interrupted by a rain delay.

“Due to the rain, somewhat little bit of some balls that might plug or possibly get somewhat mud, however it was actually in nice form,” Mickelson mentioned. “They did a terrific job of getting the course prepared, and draining it so rapidly for us to return out and play, that was very nice.”

Mickelson performed the entrance 9 in 5-under 31 and added birdies on the 2 back-nine par 5s earlier than dropping a shot on the par-4 18th.

“I wasn’t fairly on after we obtained again on the market, I simply was somewhat bit off,” Mickelson mentioned. “I hit a couple of wayward pictures. I simply did not really feel nice, however fought to complete the spherical off and attempt to regroup for tomorrow. It is a good begin, although. I did not do any injury and made some good birdies on that entrance 9 and I am going to attempt to get that degree of play again for tomorrow.”

The 51-year-old Mickelson received the PGA Championship in Might at Kiawah Island for his forty fifth PGA Tour title and sixth main championship. Final yr, he opened his senior profession with consecutive victories in Missouri and Virginia. Lefty tied for twentieth in Tucson, Arizona, in February in his lone Champions occasion this yr.

“I like the truth that it is 54 holes,” Mickelson mentioned. “It isn’t wherever close to as mentally and bodily draining because the common tour and you do not have to be as good as on the PGA Tour as a result of the penalty for miss is a lot larger there.”

Gogel birdied the final two holes. Enjoying his first Champions season, the 50-year-old Gogel received at Pebble Seashore in 2002 for his lone PGA Tour title.

Frank Lickliter II and Cameron Beckman had been tied for third at 67. Charles Schwab Cup chief Bernhard Langer was at 68 with Darren Clarke, David Toms, Tim Herron, Kevin Sutherland, Rod Pampling, Robert Karlsson and Steven Alker.

Enjoying alongside Mickelson, match host Jim Furyk opened with a 69 and European Ryder Cup captain Padraig Harrington shot a 74 in his PGA Tour Champions debut.

Ernie Els additionally was at 69 with Jay Haas and Mike Weir. U.S. Ryder Cup captain Steve Stricker shot a 71 in a gaggle with Fred Couples (72) and Davis Love III (73).

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