It was some of the best and too much of the worst of Phil Mickelson in the first round of the Masters Tournament on Thursday.
The three-time champion made a triple bogey, a double bogey, one bogey and only two birdies on his way to 4-over-par 76, eight shots behind leader Bill Haas.
Mickelson’s score was only one shot off his record high for the Masters, but it was his second year in a row with 76. He’s mixed in a tie for third in 2012 with ties for 27th and 54th since he last won the tournament in 2010.
“It wasn’t the best day for me,” he said. “I’ve got a lot of work to do (Friday) just to make the cut. So I’ve got some issues.”
Mickelson has made 16 consecutive cuts at Augusta since his only early departure in 1997, his fifth start at the Masters.
The World Golf Hall of Fame member made a nice rally from his triple bogey at No. 7, starting with a 60-foot birdie putt at No. 10 that twisted from left to right with about 12 feet to go.
It was an easy lip-read for his reaction: “You are kidding me!”
Mickelson then knocked in a 10-foot par putt at the 11th and birdied No. 13 on a short putt to get to 1-over.
However, he bogeyed No. 14 when he failed to get up-and-down from the fringe. He double bogeyed the par-5 15th when he was forced to lay up after an errant tee shot, then didn’t get his third shot all the way on the green, with the ball rolling back down the bank into the water.
He pitched on and two-putted for the double bogey – only the third on a par-5 hole for Mickelson on the second nine at Augusta in 83 rounds.
Earlier in the day, Mickelson had halted a streak of six pars with the triple bogey at the par-4 seventh. His second shot went over the green, and his chip was too strong and rolled off the front. After he scraped the ball on with his fourth shot, he made his only three-putt of the day.
Mickelson had never even double-bogeyed No. 7 before. He said his chipping is what sank his hopes of working into contention.
“I felt solid with my ball striking. I felt great with the putter,” he said. “I hit all those chips solid and flush, but I misjudged them. I was just off. I was really off today. I don’t feel like I need to go to the range and find something. I feel very confident with the way I’m hitting it by my scoring … I’m making way too many mistakes.”