Mickelson’s Short Game on Form at Shell

Phil Mickelson was hoping to tighten up his short game in advance of the Masters at Augusta National next week. And looking back at his first round at the Shell Houston Open on Thursday, he didn’t show much cause for concern.

He scored a more-than-satisfactory 66 in the opening round yesterday, which will no doubt have shot up his confidence for the first major of the year. Even after shooting a 5-under 31 on the front nine, and scoring his best single round since January, Mickelson finished the day 3 strokes behind leader Scott Piercy.

Mickelson spent the start of the week training at his home in San Diego before arriving in Houston on Wednesday evening. It appears that the work he put in is paying off.

Setting him off to a positive start, Mickelson chipped in for birdie on the first. He did the same on the par-4 10th, before tapping in for birdie on the 12th. He almost holed a flopped bunker shot on the following hole for what would have been an eagle.

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