Mickelson and Matt Gogel post opening-round 66s to lead the 54-hole event in Jacksonville, Florida; Ryder Cup captain Harrington eight behind after marking his first start on the PGA Tour Champions with a two-over 74
By Ali Stafford
Last Updated: 09/10/21 7:42am
Phil Mickelson shot a six-under 66 at Timuquana Country Club
Phil Mickelson grabbed a share of the early lead at the Constellation Furyk & Friends, as Padraig Harrington struggled in his PGA Tour Champions debut.
Mickelson mixed seven birdies with a lone bogey on his way to a six-under 66 at Timuquana Country Club, leaving the reigning PGA Champion tied alongside Matt Gogel at the top of the leaderboard.The 51-year-old birdied three of his opening four holes and added back-to-back gains from the seventh, with Mickelson taking advantage of the par-five 13th and 15th before dropping a shot at the par-four last. “I like the fact that it’s 54 holes,” Mickelson said. “It’s not anywhere near as mentally and physically draining as the regular tour and you don’t have to be as perfect as on the PGA Tour because the penalty for [a] miss is so much greater there.”Cameron Beckman and Frank Lickliter II share third after opening-round 67s, while Bernhard Langer, Darren Clarke and Ryder Cup vice-captain Robert Karlsson are in the group two strokes back. PGA Tour Champions October 13, 2021, 6:00pm Live on Tournament host Jim Furyk is three behind alongside Ernie Els and England’s Paul Broadhurst, as USA Ryder Cup captain Steve Stricker birdied two of his last four holes to salvage a one-under 71. Tom Lehman fired a hole-in-one at the par-three 17th to join Fred Couples and John Daly on level par, while Europe’s Ryder Cup captain Harrington – making his first start on the over-50s circuit – is eight behind and tied-58th in the 81-man field after a two-over 74.Harrington birdied his opening hole but doubled-bogeyed the par-four next after a wayward second shot from a fairway bunker, with the Irishman then cancelling out a birdie at the eighth with dropped shots at the 12th and 15th.