Mickelson shoots 58 in casual round in desert

March 26, 2010

What began as a casual outing with friends turned into a record-setting performance by Phil Mickelson on Monday. Tuning up for this week's Arnold Palmer Invitational, the 39-year-old Mickelson fired a course-record 14-under-par 58 at The Plantation Golf Club outside Palm Springs in Indio, Calif. The old record at the club, where Mickelson is a member, was a 61 by Nathan Nouskajian in 2002.

After playing 18 holes in the morning with another member, Bobby Schaeffer , Mickelson stopped for lunch, then decided to play nine additional holes before meeting his wife, Amy. He proceeded to shoot a 7-under 29.

"Bobby was the one who talked him into keeping going," Tim Kunick, an assistant pro at Plantation, said from the golf shop Friday morning. "He said he'd play two more, and when he birdied those two holes, he decided to stay."

After adding a birdie on the 12th, Mickelson parred 13 and 14 before birdieing his last four holes to shoot 58. According to Kunick, Mickelson played the full yardage of 7,042 yards, and putted everything out.

"He had to get out of here quickly, but he was pretty excited," Kunick said. "The golf course is actually playing extremely difficult. The greens are firm and fast, and the rough is pretty long. To shoot even in the mid-60s here is very impressive. To break 60 is phenomenal."

Mickelson seems to have kept that momentum going at Bay Hill, where he just made the turn in his second round after shooting a 32 on the front nine. At the time of this post, he is 5-under for the tournament and in a fifth-place tie.

The Plantation Course was designed by Brian Curley and Fred Couples in 1996. Couples and former NFL quarterback John Brodie are among the honorary founding members.

-- Golf Digest Digital Staff