Beware the ailing golfer? Not this time.
Phil Mickelson battled a severe cold and low energy for nine days before starting his PGA Tour season Thursday at the Humana Challenge. And although he upgraded his condition to "fine" at La Quinta, it was his game that looked sluggish in an opening even-par 72 at La Quinta Country Club.
"Lot of rust today," Mickelson said after three-putting twice, missing several putts in the range of 5-6 feet and driving out of bounds left on No. 10 for the second year in a row. "My timing and rhythm were off. Everything was quick. . . . I was really amped up and excited. Maybe overly amped up."
It left him nine strokes behind a trio of leaders -- Roberto Castro, Jason Kokrak and James Hahn -- tied for 122nd place in the tournament.
Though his practice was limited the previous week or so, Mickelson came to the desert convinced that his claw-style putting and his driving were in top shape after "breakthroughs" in offseason practice. The day before the H...