Lefty so close but so far from historic 59

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Phil Mickelson was “absolutely mortified” after agonisingly missing out on shooting a historic round of 59 in the Waste Management Phoenix Open yesterday.

Lefty had to settle for a 1st round score of 60 after his birdie putt on the final green somehow failed to drop after completely circling the hole.

Mickelson was gutted and couldn’t believe the 25ft putt didn’t go in after it horseshoed around the hole. “To see that last putt lip out the way it did and not go in is crushing because you don’t get that chance very often to shoot 59.

“You just don’t get those opportunities very often and athough a score of 60 is awesome, there’s a big difference between 60 and 59. There’s a big barrier, a Berlin Wall barrier, between 59 and 60.

“I’d been thinking 59 since the start of the back nine and probably putting more pressure on myself. But I knew, I just knew I could do it and, darn it, it just lipped out.”

Only five players have scored under 60 in the history of the US PGA Tour and Mickelson looked a good bet to make it six of the best.

But it wasn’t to be by the narrowest and cruellest of margins though Lefty still holds a handy 1st round lead and will clearly take a lot of shifting from the summit of the leaderboard.

Mickelson is setting a hot pace and is four shots clear of a handful of players who shot 64s (-7) including Ireland’s three-times major champion and Phoenix debutant Padraig Harrington.