DUBLIN, Ohio -- For the first time in his professional career, Phil Mickelson withdrew from a tournament without suffering a physical injury or ailment, fatigued by travel and a barrage of electronic shutter snaps. The four-time major champion quit the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide Insurance after an opening round of 79, saying he was hoping to find his game in time for the U.S. Open at Olympic Club in San Francisco. Mickelson and playing partners, Rickie Fowler and Bubba Watson, suffered a withering onslaught of cell phone pictures during their round but afterward the five-time National Open runner-up said his withdrawal was simply about the need to "think big picture" and prepare for golf's next major championship, just two weeks away.
*Mickelson cited fatigue when withdrawing. Photo by Getty Images.
"I played Charlotte, the Players and the Nelson, I went straight to Europe to celebrate Amy's 40th. I came back and had a Tuesday outing in Long Island and I think I'm mentally...I'm a bit fatigued," said Mickelson after a back nine of 42. "Certainly I'm disappointed with how I played today but I think I need -- I've got to be more big picture oriented and think about the Open and what's best to get my best golf out there. I need the next few days to rest up a bit."
Mickelson had promised to take his wife, Amy, to Paris for her birthday, a postponed trip he mentioned during his Hall of Fame induction speech. They also went to Italy. Unfortunately, her actual birthday was celebrated with his seven-over-par 79. "We had a great time but I think I probably just went a little bit overboard last month," said Mickelson. "It has nothing to do with playing poorly and so forth." He mentioned a possible visit to his coach, Butch Harmon, and an early arrival at Olympic Club. "I might go spend a couple days there if I feel up for it the next four or five days," said Mickelson.
-- Jim Moriarty