Even after hot start, Phil Mickelson isn't convinced he can actually win the Safeway Open

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Phil Mickelson -- yes, the same Phil Mickelson who went 0-2-0 at last week's Ryder Cup and conceded the event to the Europeans before getting off the 16th tee box in his singles match against Francesco Molinari -- nearly shot the round of the day at the 2018 Safeway Open on Thursday. It was the first PGA Tour round of the 2018-19 season, and Mickelson took advantage after a trans-continental flight back from France and some time off early in the week.

Mickelson shot a 65 on Thursday and trails by a pair going into Friday's second round. But not even he is convinced that what he did on Thursday can stick for four rounds.

"Honestly, I hit it just terrible and today was kind of an anomaly," Mickelson said. "Don't let the good round fool you, I'm not at my best, but today was -- a few things clicked and it was fun. I had one of the worst warmup sessions I had in years, I was hitting it terrible. I was hitting the driving range fence both left and right, it was awful."

It echoes what he said last week at the Ryder Cup when he noted that he had maybe never hit that many balls at an event before just trying to find something. I'm so here for the angsty Mickelson rounds that include dress shirts, six straight birdies and a 65 on the card.

"I expected to be going home after tomorrow, but now I don't," Lefty said. "Now I think I'll have maybe a good day tomorrow, who knows."

This entire thing is a dream scenario for me, really. Mickelson winning a real PGA Tour event the week after laying a total egg in the Ryder Cup. It would be a nice bookend to him and Tiger Woods going 0-6-0 in Paris but winning both the week before and the week after that event.

It's not likely going to happen -- Mickelson sounds like he has as much confidence as I do off the tee -- but it's at least in play. Golf is strange, Mickelson golf is maybe even stranger and now we're set up for what could not be a more perfect ending to all the Ryder Cup fallout coming out of Paris.

CBS Sports Writer

Kyle Porter began his sports writing career with CBS Sports in 2012. He covers golf, writes poetry about Rory McIlroy's swing, stays ready on Tiger watch and loves the Masters more than anyone you know.... Full Bio

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