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Waste Management Phoenix Open: Phil Mickelson can't fathom how putt for 59 stayed out

Last Updated: 01/02/13 10:52am

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Phil Mickelson says he was convinced his putt for a first-round 59 in the Waste Management Phoenix Open was heading straight into the centre of the hole.

The left-hander was poised to become just the sixth player in PGA Tour history to break the magic 60 barrier after he'd gone birdie crazy at TPC Scottsdale, playing his first 16 holes at the par 71 in 11-under.

After just missing a birdie at eight, his 17th, Mickelson had one final chance at the ninth but his 26-foot putt horseshoed around the hole and stayed above ground.

Mickelson, who started to walk towards the hole in celebration before raising his hands to his head in disbelief, said: "Six feet to go, it was in the center, three feet to go, it was in the center, a foot to go, it was in the center, and even as it's approaching the hole, I couldn't envision which side of the hole it could possibly miss on.

"It ended up somehow just dying off at the end, catching the lip and at that speed to lip out as much as it did is very rare.

"I'm ecstatic with the round, but man, you just don't get those opportunities very often, and to see that ball lip out instead of lip in, it's crushing."

It's the second time Mickelson has shot 60 on this course, the first coming in 2005 when he went on to claim victory.

"The last time I shot 60 here in '05 I birdied like the last three or four holes just to do that, and I was ecstatic, and I'm ecstatic to shoot 60," he said.

"But there's a big difference between 60 and 59. Not that big between 60 and 61, there really isn't. But there's a big barrier, a Berlin Wall barrier, between 59 and 60."

The three-time Masters winner will take a four-shot lead into Friday's second round.

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