Last Updated: August 9, 2013 11:30am
US PGA Round 1 - Blog
Phil Mickelson will "not be a happy bunny" after shooting a one-over-par round of 71 on day one of the US PGA Championship at Oak Hill, says Colin Montgomerie.
The Open champion sits six shots adrift of the co-leaders, 2013 Masters winner Adam Scott and 2003 US Open victor Jim Furyk, following a topsy-turvy round on a stormy Thursday in Rochester, New York.
Mickelson slipped to three-over after four holes but rallied after a rain delay and propelled himself to one-under - before a double bogey on the par four 18th, a fate that also befell world number one Tiger Woods (+1), left the American in a tie for 50th place.
"It will be frustrating for Phil to have thrown it away having clawed his way back after the rain delay by birdieing 11, 12 and 14, and he will not be a happy bunny," said Sky Sports pundit Montgomerie about the 2005 US PGA champion.
"I'm sure he and Butch (Harmon) will sort it out on the range and he will shoot 65 [on Friday], and he and Woods need 65s or 66s minimum as they have a lot to do to get back into this."
Woods captured his eighth WGC-Bridgestone Invitational title in convincing style last week but has failed to collect a Major since the 2008 US Open and Harmon reckons the American won't be happy with his opening Oak Hill round.
"Tiger said he played well in the press conference - but not really," said Harmon.
"He had 11 putts on the front nine and hit the ball all over the place.
"I think Tiger felt comfortable [at Firestone] but he doesn't feel comfortable here, so we are going to need a good round out of him on Friday.
"We can say he is back but something happens in the Majors and he is not Tiger anymore."
Casey - Still room for improvement
Montgomerie, though, was full of praise for Australian Scott, who finished tied for third at the Open Championship at Muirfield, alongside Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood, and says he now has a great chance of lifting his second Major of the year.
But he is refusing to rule out the chances of a host of English challengers, too.
"Scott was five-under when the storm hit and he finished five-under," Montgomerie added.
"The back seven holes were very tough so he had a positive result as he could have gone to two-under easily.
"If you beat Scott around here you could be lifting a trophy, but the tournament is open as you've got some ball-strikers in there - Westwood (-4), Justin Rose (-2), and I'm pleased to say Paul Casey (-3).
"And I've always said this is a ball-striker's course."
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