2019 Desert Classic leaderboard, scores: Jon Rahm chasing Phil Mickelson after Round 1
Rahm and Rose could battle it out for the win on Sunday, but need to catch Lefty first
The story on Thursday in the opening round of a wet 2019 Desert Classic was Phil Mickelson's near 59, but there are plenty of other narratives to talk about as well. An interesting leaderboard is congregating behind Lefty, and with dodgy weather in the area, the way the rest of this event plays out is anybody's guess. Let's take a look at a first round recap.
First place -- Phil Mickelson (-12): Mickelson shot the 37th 60 in PGA Tour history on Thursday. A 30 on the front. A 30 on the back. He'll be 49 years old in five months. According to Justin Ray of Golf Channel, every tournament where he's shot a 61 or better at any point in the event, he's gone on to win. If he does so this week it will be the 44th win of his career., but he leads Adam Long by three strokes at the end of the first day. The good news for Lefty?
Last place -- Jason Dufner (+7): Dufner shot a 7-over 79 in Round 1, which was one worse than Chris Kirk. The 2016 champion of this event struggled mightily in his second start of the calendar year. He was one of just 14 golfers to shoot 3 over or worse on Thursday in one of the easiest events of the year. Maybe he forgot his DUDE wipes.
Other contenders -- Adam Long (-9), Curtis Luck (-8), Trey Mullinax (-7) Martin Laird (-7), Jon Rahm (-6), Justin Rose (-4): I expected a little more out of Rose especially since he started on the easiest course in the rotation (La Quinta, the same one Mickelson shot his 60 on). Luck is a fascinating young potential star, and you know last year's champ Rahm is going to roll until the very end.
Stat of the day: This is kind of unbelievable. But thankfully the ball isn't going too far.
Shot of the day: You can pick between about five or six Lefty shots. His wedges on Thursday were absolute filth. Can you tell who owned Thursday?!
Quote of the day: This was from Mickelson. "I knew it wasn't far off, but it didn't feel like I was ready to go. I felt I played a little bit more conservative. I got into trouble, I wasn't as aggressive. I tried to not make too many big mistakes. I putted really well."
So what you're telling me is that when Lefty dials it down a little bit he can be really, really good? I don't know if I can live in a world where this is the case.
What to watch on Day 2:were pretty interesting. He noted that he didn't feel great coming in, which either means he should not feel great more often or that the next three days are going to be a roller coaster. Knowing Mickelson, I'm betting on the latter, which means the next 54 holes will be must-see TV.
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