It was an amazing day at Royal Troon as the Weather was spectacular, along with the scores. American Patrick Reed had himself a day as he finished 5-under par for the day and in the lead when he reached the clubhouse. That lead lasted till late afternoon when Phil Mickelson was pushing towards a single round record of 9-under 62. He would lip out on the 18th hole, for a 8-under 63 and said it nearly made him cry…but not tears of joy. His caddy Bones fell down and reacted as if Phil just lost the tournament. They were both very disappointed.
Phil had a chance today at history and although he shot a 63 and an incredible round, at 46 he knows his time is coming to a close on the PGA tour and his ability to put together rounds like that are running thin. Because of that, the round of 63 was something closer to excruciating than it was celebratory. That really shows what kind of player and competitor he is.
Let us also consider that Mickelson missed the cut in both the Masters and US Open. He has also not won a tournament in 3 years.
“It was one of the best rounds that I’ve played. I mean, nothing will match that final round at Muirfield, but it was one of the best rounds I’ve ever played and I was able to take advantage of these conditions, and yet I want to shed a tear right now,” said the 46-year-old, who at eight-under leads the field by three strokes.
“That putt on 18 was an opportunity to do something historical. I knew it, and with a foot to go I thought I had done it. I saw that ball rolling right in the centre.
“I went to go get it, I had that surge of adrenaline that I had just shot 62, and then I had the heartbreak that I didn’t and watched that ball lip out.
“It was, wow, that stings.”
“This one’s going to stay with me for a while because of the historical element of the major championships. There’s a lot of guys that have shot 63, but nobody has shot that 62. That would have been really something special.
“I just don’t think that’s going to come around again, and that’s why I walk away so disappointed,”
“Well, it was obvious right there, there’s a curse because that ball should have been in,” he laughed. “If there wasn’t a curse, that ball would have been in and I would have had that 62.”
The amazing thing about the 63 is that the score and Phil were not even the story as Patrick Reed shot a 5-under and had a great day before Phil really got started. Reed made only 2 bogeys and offset those with an Eagle on two and 5 birdies.
The leaderboard is littered with Americans near the top including last year’s champ Zach Johnson at 4-under. Other notables include Steve Stricker at 4-under and Keeghan Bradley also at 4-under. Streaking Dustin Johnson finished at even along with Jordan Speith. Bubba Watson was 4-under after 5 but would finish at 1-under only because he birdied that 18th. He squandered away nearly every shot.
Ricki fowler finished 2-under along with Rory McIlRoy. Jason Day struggled a bit today and finished 2 over. Europeans Martin Kaymer and Sergio Garcia played well today as Kaymer finished at 5-under and Sergio 3-under.
As mentioned tomorrow the weather is looking to be a complete opposite of today as they are expecting wind and rain. It will look and feel more like an Open Championship to most so those that were able to make hay today may have in fact put themselves in a really good place with worsening conditions moving forward.