Conway Farms' unusual layout calls for players to walk past the clubhouse on their way to the third tee.
"Have fun, Philly," a man said as Mickelson strolled past. "Get it back."
Mickelson's par-bogey start did not bode well. One time I was tempted to move back a set of tees after the first two holes, but Conway Farms member Luke Donald cautioned against it.
"It's a friendly start," he said.
Mickelson got it back with birdies on 7, 14, 15 and 16. His 25-yard pitch from the right of the 16th green was the shot of the day, drawing roars from witnesses. Mickelson celebrated by rolling his ball to a young girl in a pink baseball cap.
"There's a good mixture of really hard holes and really good birdie opportunities," he said. "I think that makes for exciting golf."
The British Open champion seems incapable of playing anything other than exciting golf.
"That shot on 16 was cool, but I let a lot get away," he said. "I've got to score better (Friday)."