Phil Mickelson looked lethargic en route to a 5-over-par 76 in Thursday’s opening round of the 148th British Open. He was playing his first competitive round since reshaping his body and rousing his mental clarity.
Following a six-day fast and the introduction of yoga, hikes and a new diet which included fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, Lefty lost 18 pounds in 15 days. He said that he was bursting with energy ahead of the Open.
Even though Mickelson refused to speak with the media, his play spoke volumes. He looked like he lost his touch at Royal Portrush.
There were several opportunities early in his round but with the poor chip shots and a couple of futile putts from short range for birdies, all the chances were lost.
The 2013 Open champion made seven bogeys in all which wasn’t that good. Even when Mickelson drove the 368-yard par-4 5th – in Mickelson parlance, it was a bomb – he raced his eagle putt six feet past the hole and then missed his birdie opportunity.
Mickelson’s only highlights as he played alongside Shane Lowry, who was among the early pace-setters with a 67, were birdies on the par-5 7th – when another one of his bombs set him up correctly – and on the par-4 14th from short range.
Mickelson missed four cuts in his last six starts. He said that his expectations were limited and all he was going to try and do was have fun in a tournament he treasures. So far, that approach hasn’t gone as intended.