Phil Mickelson flirted with history on Friday in the opening round of the Deutsche Bank Championship before slowing down on his second nine to finish with an eight-under-par 63 at TPC Boston in Norton, Mass.
Kevin Stalder is in second place at 64, followed by Hunter Mahan at 65 and then a group of nine at 65.
Mickelson, the 2007 Deutsche Bank Championship winner, started fast with a seven-under 28 on the back nine to give himself a shot at the 18-hole record of 59. The 28 matched his lowest nine holes in PGA Tour play, which he set in the 1997 Las Vegas Invitational. He birdied Nos. 10 and 11 to begin his round and was two under after four holes. He then closed out his first nine holes with five consecutive birdies.
After he bogeyed No. 1 to begin his second nine, Mickelson had an eagle at the par-five No. 2 before reeling off five consecutive pars. He finished birdie-bogey to complete his round.
[Update, 1:45 p.m.: I putted really well," Mickelson said in a television interview after his round. "There were a couple that didn’t go that had every bit as good a chance to go as the ones that did, and that’s the sign that you’re putting well. The ones that were missing were catching lips, and I poured in a bunch of others, so I’m rolling the ball well."
When asked if he was having fun or feeling pressure, Mickelson leaned toward the fun aspect of his round.
"It’s fun, I mean, it’s really fun," he said. "You actually feel like it’s less pressure. I feel like I didn’t have to knock it stiff because I was making putts. I just had to get it on the green and give myself a good chance, and a lot of the ones went in."]