If Phil Mickelson is going to complete the career Grand Slam this week at Pebble Beach, this is not the type of omen he's looking for.
Through 11 holes of his opening round at the U.S. Open, Mickelson sat at even par, an impressive feat considering where he was off the tee on many of the holes on the back nine. He grinded out seven pars and made one birdie and one bogey to post an even-par 36 on the back (his front), then made back-to-back pars at the first and second holes, the latter of which required a gutsy 10-footer. He was showing some impressive fight, giving himself a chance to post an under par round without his best stuff.
Then at the par-4 third, Mickelson came up well short on his approach shot with a wedge, leaving him with 40 feet for birdie. His effort rolled one foot and six inches past the cup, to be exact. Why are we being so exact? Because (gulp) he missed that one-foot, six-incher in shocking fashion. Viewer discretion is advised:
"That might be the shortest missed putt of anybody's career on this tour," says FOX analyst Paul Azinger, who might just have a point. We're all prone to hyperbole in 2019, by one-foot and six inches is as short as it gets, and according to putting guru Brad Faxon, the shot tracker may have been off. It looks even less than a foot, making it all the more gutting for Mickelson, who needs every shot he can get to try to win his first U.S. Open this week. Just a crushing bogey for Lefty after a perfect, 300-yard drive that found the short grass and left him with a flip wedge in.
To Mickelson's credit, he didn't let the short miss get to him. He two-putted for par at the fourth, and then after missing the green at the par-3 fifth he chipped his second to six feet and buried the par putt to stay at one over for the tournament. If he can work it back to even par with that being one of his only two bogeys, it wouldn't be the worst thing ever. That said, can you imagine if he finishes one shot back on Sunday? Nightmare fuel. Make sure to follow our first round live blog to see how Lefty finishes up his Thursday.