Mickelson flirts with 59 in 1st start of season

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He still plays that way, too.

Phil Mickelson held on to the lead in California with a 68 on day two of the Desert Classic, while Seamus Power struggled to make a move up the leaderboard. It was the most under par he has been in any of the 2,077 rounds he has played on the PGA Tour.

"It was a fun day but I certainly did not expect this to be the case, but I'm also excited to start the year so I was fresh".

"Sometimes you have those days where it all clicks", he told Golf Channel. "I was able to kind of not have the big score". David Duval had a 59 at PGA West's Palmer Course when he won in 1999.

Canada's Hadwin shot a 59 on the La Quinta course two years ago.

"I was aware of it", Mickelson said. "I haven't really had the intense practice sessions that I would like". "I feel like I can play aggressively with the way I'm hitting it off the tee". Made a good birdie on 18.

It is one of three courses in use during the tournament, which includes the Nicklaus Tournament Course at PGA West and La Quinta Country Club.

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Stacy Lewis, in her first event as a mother, followed her 68 with a 74. I felt like all parts were OK, and it just clicked. "The last thing is speed, because if I have speed with the driver then I can worry more about accuracy".

Mickelson sank birdies on his first two holes and then made the turn in six-under 30.

Luck, who at 22 is 26 years Mickelson's junior, was let down by a pair of bogeys on par 3s coming home, including a painful one at his penultimate hole. "I had a decent lie after dropping off the cart path, but I had the ball a little bit below my feet and a slight uphill lie, which the tendency on those shots is to pull it and I just didn't adjust for that very well and I pulled it right in the water".

Mickelson began his round at the 10th and birdied his second and third holes. He won the World Golf Championships-Mexico Championship previous year for his 43rd PGA Tour title and first since the 2013 British Open. After the turn, Mickelson tallied five birdies in his next seven holes. "I just kept feeding off it and tried to keep the pedal down".

Curtis Luck birdied three of the last four holes at La Quinta to cap a flawless 64 for the young Australian, although he was replaced in second by Adam Long, who was playing in the final group of the day at the Nicklaus Tournament course. Adam Hadwin is among those in a tie for fourth at 7 under.

SHORT SHOTS: Defending champion Jon Rahm is in a tie for eighth at 6 under. He's fighting a lingering flu bug. "Not fully recuperated. My body is not a hundred percent".

"There was like probably 15 people behind the green, but it was weird, they didn't really go bananas, " Marino said.