Lefty goes all FIGJAM at Riviera.
Phil Mickelson didn’t earn the “#PhilWasHere” hashtag by playing it safe, what with his penchant for making shots from spots no one ever imagined a golfer would visit.
I swear he does this stuff on purpose pic.twitter.com/JJzW8w1fyJ
— No Laying Up (@NoLayingUp) September 8, 2016
— Skratch (@Skratch) August 6, 2015
So anyone surprised by Mickelson converting a bank shot off the grandstand into a hole-out for eagle on the par-5 17th at Riviera has not been paying attention over the past 24 years of the popular southpaw’s professional career.
Lefty showed off his spectacular short game with that flop shot out of heavy rough that took a couple of hops and found the bottom of the cup.
The 46-year-old went on a mini-run after the eagle-3, which he nailed on his eighth hole of Thursday’s opening round of the Genesis Open. He posted two straight birdies at Nos. 18 and 1 to get to 5-under and briefly atop the leaderboard.
A dropped shot at the par-4 second put him in a tie for second, just one shot shy of Dustin Johnson. He regained a tie for first with DJ and two others among the morning wave with his fifth birdie of the day, at No. 7, but had to settle for a share of second, at 4-under 67, after a disappointing bogey at the last.
Mickelson has not won a tour event since 2013 and is coming off an offseason that involved a pair of sports hernia surgeries. He entered the former Farmers Insurance Open after a disastrous final-round 77 to finish in 65th place at last week’s AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.