The PGA Championship: Day 1
August 11 2011
2:22 pm Mickelson determined to battle
JOHNS CREEK, Ga. — In a word, it was an "okay" start.
But those bogeys he made on his first and final holes at Atlanta Athletic Club tempered Phil Mickelson’s opinion of the 71 he shot during the first round of the PGA Championship. He was eight strokes off the lead being held by Steve Stricker, who tied the major championship record of 63.
“I played well today.,’ Mickelson said. “Got off to a terrible start. I spotted the field from shots right on the first hole (No. 10) and I had to fight. Throughout the day I hit a lot of good shots on the hard holes and made some good par, and only a couple birdies, and shot 1 over.
“Certainly not what I wanted. But I feel like my game is right there. You know, it’s about to turn. … I’m going to fight hard tomorrow to get into the weekend.
Mickelson, who was playing with David Toms, the man who beat him at the 2001 PGA on this same course, left no doubt about his feeling on this reincarnation of the Atlanta Athletic Club.
"It was a fun, great golf course, and what this is, is a long golf course," Mickelson said. "It’s not fun. It’s not great. It’s not exciting. There’s no intimacy. It’s just long and it’s hard, and that’s what it is."
The long par 3s – which measure 219, 184, 260 and 207 yards – drew some pointed comments from Mickelson. He likes them as a test for the PGA but feels they are too challenging for the average golfer.
“It’s a perfect example of how modern architecture is killing the game, because these holes are unplayable for the member,” Mickelson said. “… Now, for us out here, it doesn’t make a bit of difference, because we are going to fly the ball to the green either way. And that’s why I say it’s great for the championship.”
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