LOS ANGELES, United States, Feb 14 – Phil Mickelson holed out from a bunker to salvage a par at his opening hole Thursday before rain halted play in the first round of the US PGA Tour Genesis Open.
Mickelson was among 10 groups who teed off in rainy weather at Riviera Country Club before officials called a halt with visibility deteriorating and more heavy showers expected throughout the morning.
His opening-hole effort, at the 10th, won’t count, because officials decided scores would be re-set — a step taken “due to the fact we’ve played so little golf in the first round and not knowing when the first round is going to resume again,” said PGA Tour rules official Steve Rintoul.
Mickelson, a five-time major-winner, is trying to make it two wins in two weeks after finishing off a victory at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am on Monday — where weather was also a factor.
The 48-year-old American claimed a 44th US PGA Tour title — almost a year after ending a near five-year victory drought at the 2018 WGC mexico Championship.
Genesis Open host Tiger Woods said Mickelson’s resurgence has inspired him in his own comeback from injury.
“What Phil has done has been extraordinary, to be that consistent for the length of time,” said the 43-year-old Woods.
“It’s not easy to pick up clubhead speed, which he has done as he’s gotten older,” Woods said. “That’s been extraordinary. That’s what’s allowed him to stay out here with some of these longer guys — he’s been able to hit the ball farther.
“He’s adjusted his putting,” Woods added. “He’s made more putts than I think I’ve seen in years in the last year and a half. It’s one of the reasons why he’s won two big events.”
Woods admitted that Mickelson’s success continues to spur him, although their rivalry has grown friendlier over time.
“It has always pushed me,” Woods said. “I remember talking to Arnold (Palmer) and Jack (Nicklaus) about this. Any time they saw each other on the board, they would say, “What’s he at? What’s he at?’
“My entire career — Phil will probably attest to this — we’ve always looked at the board to figure out where one another’s at.”
Woods had been slated to tee off on Thursday at 12:22 pm (2022 gmt) alongside Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy and American Justin Thomas.
Those tee times were out the window with tournament organizers saying the next scheduling update would come at 1pm (2100 GMT).
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