April 12, 2019 / 1:08 AM / 5 months ago

Mickelson mirrors last Green Jacket performance in first round

Phil Mickelson of the U.S. hits off the fourth tee during first round play of the 2019 Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia, U.S., April 11, 2019. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

AUGUSTA, Ga. (Reuters) - It was deja vu for Phil Mickelson at the Masters on Thursday, after the 48-year-old posting a five-under-par 67, a repeat of his first-round performance at Augusta National in 2010, the last time he picked up a Green Jacket.

Mickelson gave the younger challengers a run for their money, finishing one stroke behind co-leaders and fellow Americans Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau.

Mickelson, however, said he set less lofty goals for the first round of his latest Masters bid, saying after the round that he was “just hoping to shoot in the 60s.”

The five-times major winner made back-to-back bogeys at the start of the back nine, a stumble that perhaps could have rattled a less experienced player.

“After going in the water at 11 to hit that close and have an easy bogey and then to make a six‑footer for bogey on 10 after a terrible drive, those were almost momentum maintainers, if you will, that kept me in it,” Mickelson said.

He went on to make five birdies in the last seven holes, completing seven on the day.

Mickelson, who last won a major at the Open in 2013, would be the oldest Masters champion in history if he wins this year.

Reporting by Amy Tennery; Editing by Greg Stutchbury

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