Phil Mickelson opened his season with an erratic even-par 72 on Thursday in the Humana Challenge, leaving him nine strokes behind the first-round leaders.
Recovering from flu-like symptoms, the 42-year-old Mickelson had three birdies, a bogey and double bogey at La Quinta Country Club -- one of three courses used in the pro-am event.
Jason Kokrak, Roberto Castro and James Hahn topped the leaderboard at 9-under 63. Kokrak had two eagles and five birdies at La Quinta, Castro had nine birdies at PGA West's Jack Nicklaus Private Course, and Hahn had nine birdies on PGA West's Arnold Palmer Private Course.
Russell Henley, the Sony Open winner Sunday in Hawaii in his first start as a PGA Tour member, had a 64 on the Nicklaus course.
''I felt a lot better,'' Mickelson said. ''I took it easy on Monday and Tuesday. It was like Day 10, but I'm fine now. I'm 95 percent better. I'm not contagious and the energy's coming back. I've been abl...