Lahiri shoots 70 at Desert Classic, Mickelson cards 12-under 60
La Quinta (California), Jan 18 (PTI) Indian golfer Anirban Lahiri shot a two-under 70 for a share of the 70th spot after the opening round of the Desert Classic golf tournament here.
Lahiri lay tied-70th at the event where the cut would be applied after three rounds.
Phil Mickelson, 48, showed age is just a number, when he began his 27th full season as a pro by coming tantalisingly close to 59, which he has never shot.
He shot a 12-under 60, tying his career-low score he last shot in the Waste Management Phoenix Open six years ago. He became the first player to shoot 60 or better three times in PGA history.
Adam Long is in second at nine-under while Australian Curtis Luck is in third at eight-under. Defending champion Jon Rahm is Tied-eighth after shooting six-under.
Lahiri found nine of 14 fairways and 12 of the 18 greens in regulation. But he missed at least two putts inside 10 feet.
On fifth, he messed a bunker shot and missed the regulation and two-putted for a bogey. On the very next, par-three, he had a six-footer for par, which he missed and went to one-over.
The 559-yard par-five eighth hole brought some cheer as Lahiri reached the green in three and sunk a 24-foot putt for birdie. This moved Lahiri to even for the round.
On the back-nine, Lahiri drilled a neat 108-yard approach shot to set up a birdie, that he holed. The very next hole, the 195-yard par-three 13th, Lahiri hit a tee shot 204 yards at the green and holed a 17-footer for birdie to move to two-under for the round.
On a cloudy and rainy day, fog forced a delay in start at both La Quinta Country Club's Stadium and Nicklaus Tournament Courses by an hour and 15 minutes.
Mickelson, needing to play the final two holes in two-under to shoot 59 on the foggy, rainy day at La Quinta Country Club, missed a 15-foot birdie try on the par-four 17th before holing a nine-footer for birdie on the par-four 18th.
The Desert Classic is the only PGA TOUR event to yield two sub-60 rounds. David Duval had a 59 at PGA West's Palmer Course when he won in 1999. Adam Hadwin shot 59 at La Quinta in 2017.
"...it just clicked. Some days you have those days where it just clicked. And the bad shots that I hit, I got away with. I was able to kind of not have the big score," he said.
Mickelson held a three-stroke lead over Adam Long, the 31-year-old PGA TOUR rookie who finished off a 63 in the dark on PGA West's Nicklaus Tournament Course