Phil Mickelson shot a solid 70 in his first round at the 2014 US Open at Pinehurst. That sounds boring -- and it was for how well Mickelson drove the ball -- but the main thing is that Mickelson is in the thick of things after the first 18 holes.
Lefty hit nine of 14 fairways and didn't miss one with his driver. He didn't seem too pleased with his effort from a scoring standpoint.
"It's a good start," said Mickelson. "I didn't hurt myself any. I had a chance to get 3, 4, 5-under today had I made some makeable opportunities. But I didn't throw anything away on some of the short ones. Right now it's my driving. I didn't miss a fairway with my driver, it's an unusual thing for me."
That's about as Mickelson a quote as you're going to find at a US Open. Up, down, left, right, just all over the place. FIGJAM, as the kids say.
But he's right where he's been after round one when he's finished well at this tournament.
Phil Mickelson has shot 70 or better 11 times in the 1st round of the US Open. 8 times he finished 7th or better, 7 times 4th or better.— brandel chamblee (@chambleebrandel) June 12, 2014
The Pinehurst masses cheered Mickelson on all day, seeming as if they wanted to carry him to the fourth leg of his career slam after just 18 holes, impossible as that might be.
He gave them what they wanted early, making birdies at two of his first five holes and holding a share of the lead halfway through his round.
But Mickelson sprayed his non-drivers off the tee a bit and made three bogeys in his last 13 holes.
"This is a course where I get a similar feeling that I get at Augusta where I don't have to be perfect," he said. "I can miss shots."
I think he could have shot an 80, though, and been undeterred by it all.
"I do still have a hundred percent confidence that I'll be able to break through and get one. I do feel, though, that this tournament gives me a great chance or this golf course, because I don't feel like I have to be perfect. I can hit a ridiculously bad iron shot, like a did on 2, and I can still get up and down.
Not a great start for Phil, but a good one, and one that might be good enough on Sunday to hoist the trophy that has eluded him for so long.