• Scottish Open, Round One

Mickelson pleased with solid start

ESPN staff
July 11, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
Phil Mickelson missed the cut in his last outing at the Greenbrier Classic © PA Photos
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Scottish Open Leaderboard

Phil Mickelson enjoyed a strong opening round at the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open on Thursday, finishing with a six-under-par 66 at the Castle Stuart Golf Course.

The four-time Major winner, who ended runner-up in the US Open for a record sixth time in June, recovered from an opening hole bogey to card an eagle, six birdies and a further bogey to finish two shots adrift of early clubhouse leader John Parry.

"It was a good start," said Mickelson. "We had perfect conditions the first 14 or 15 holes and there are opportunities on this course to make birdies and eagles.

"It's an above-average round but there were opportunities to pick up three or four shots that I let go so I have to get a little sharper.

"There was a good chance to go low but I'm pleased to get off to a good start because I've got off to poor starts the last two years and been struggling to get into contention."

Brit Parry hit a bogeyless round of 64 to set the standard, one shot ahead of fellow countryman Simon Khan. Mickelson, Shane Lowry Mikko Ilonen and James Morrison all sit at six-under with Kiradech Aphibarnrat.

Thongchai Jaidee and Chris Doak also finished six-under.

Paul McGinley had a blistering start to his round, finishing with a five-under round of 67 alongside 12 other players while defending Open champion Ernie Els ended up with an even 72 after a mixed round featuring four birdies and four bogeys.

Recent Irish Open champion Paul Casey enjoyed a solid round of 70, with 2011 Open Champion Darren Clarke finishing one shot better with a three-under 69.

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