A wild ride for Mickelson to start Masters

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 10, 2014 at 7:22 pm •  Published: April 10, 2014

AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — Back and forth the ball went, passing the cup four times in all, simply refusing to go down.

When Phil Mickelson finally finished with the seventh hole, he had a triple-bogey on his scorecard.

That summed up Lefty's wild ride on the opening day of the Masters.

Seeking to become only the fourth player to win as many as four green jackets, Lefty put himself in quite a hole with all sorts of erratic shots Thursday at Augusta National.

He took another 7, this one a double-bogey, after dumping it in the water at No. 15. And this being Mickelson, one of the most exciting if infuriating players in the game, there was an curling 40-foot birdie putt at the 10th that prompted him to shout, "Are you kidding me!"

But the bad shots far outweighed the good, and Mickelson trudged to the finish with a 4-over 76 — one of the worst scores of his Masters career.

The start didn't put him in great position to join Arnold Palmer and Tiger Woods with four Masters titles. Jack Nicklaus, with six green jackets, is the only player to win more.

"I've got a lot of work to do tomorrow just to make the cut," Mickelson said. "I've got some issues."

He started the round with six straight pars. Then it all fell apart at No. 7, a par-4 hole known as "Pampas" that played tough all day.

It was brutal for Mickelson.

He struck a decent tee shot, the ball stopping in the second cut, just off the left side of the fairway. His second shot rolled through the green, winding up in the tall grass, short of a bunker. Mickelson is usually a wizard with his wedges, but he chipped it a little too hard, the ball catching a ridge just beyond the cup and rolling all the way off the green.

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