LA JOLLA, Calif. -- Phil Mickelson has won with two drivers in his bag and five wedges, but Thursday in the opening round of the U.S. Open, the world's No. 2 player added a new spin to his course strategy.
In an outing two weeks before the Open, Mickelson said he would only hit driver 4 to 6 times per round on the 7,634-yard layout, the longest in tournament history.
The big left-hander took it one step further by replacing his driver with a 2-iron, and going with an 11-degree 3-wood and three hybrids. (He also is carrying four wedges.) It helped his accuracy but not his score, as he three-putted the fifth hole to begin a stretch of three consecutive bogeys and make the turn in 38, three back of Adam Scott and four shots behind Tiger Woods, his two playing companions.
Maybe it was an omen that while Mickelson warmed up, the USGA was showing a replay of the 2006 U.S. Open at Winged Foot, where an errant drive on the 72nd hole cost him the national championship.
-- Tim Rosaforte