Phil Mickelson: Short on Sleeves, Long on Birdies
By Stephanie Wei under PGA Tour

Phil Mickelson signs autographs after his round

In the frigid temperatures during the first-round of the Phoenix Open, which started four hours later than scheduled, Phil Mickelson was the only player brave enough to shed the layers and wear short sleeves. With half the field yet to complete first-round play, Phil is currently T8. Mickelson, who finished second at last week’s Farmers Insurance Open, shot a four-under 67, despite spraying his first tee shot out of bounds.

“Well, it happens,” said Mickelson after his round. “Sometimes you get — I didn’t make a great swing and then unfortunately hit somebody and kind of rolled under the fence out of bounds. It happens. I was actually trying to be right so I had an angle to that pin…Started with a bogey and ended with a bogey, but I thought I played well today, made a lot of birdies in between and had opportunities that I didn’t capitalize on. Probably didn’t score as low as I should have, but I thought I played well.”

Mickelson carded six birdies and two bogeys.

Paired with Phil (and Bubba Watson), Bill Haas, who fired 65 for a share of the clubhouse lead, was amazed that Mickelson wasn’t cold.

“It’s cold,” said Haas. “You’ve got four layers on. Phil was in short sleeves. I don’t know how he was doing it because I don’t think it was that warm out here. Better than this morning, but it’s still pretty cold.”

Well, Phil does have a few extra layers of insulation…

Mickelson, who played his college golf at Arizona State University, has always been a fan favorite at the Phoenix Open. The crowds lined up by the fence adjacent to the scoring tent, waiting for him to finish his rounds with the media. Then, like he always does, Phil headed over to the adoring fans and signed autographs for 15 minutes.

One spectator cried, “Phil, I love you! Phil! Will you please sign this? I watched you play all day!”