Phil Mickelson Shoots Course Record 60 at Phoenix Open on Day 1

Tyler ConwayFeatured ColumnistJanuary 31, 2013

Jan 24, 2013; San Diego, CA, USA; Phil Mickelson lines up his putt on the 14th hole during the first round of the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Phil Mickelson's putt to tie a PGA Tour record score of 59 on Thursday may have lipped out, but his 11-under score of 60 was enough to set a course record and give him a four-shot lead heading into the clubhouse at the 2013 Waste Management Phoenix Open.

After an expertly played round of golf, Mickelson stood on the 18th green with a long birdie putt to give him that illustrious score of 59. Here is a look at Mickelson's putt on No. 18, which did a 180-degree spin around the cup and left mouths agape at the Phoenix Open.

Though the putt ultimately fell short, Mickelson's round on Thursday may go down as the best in his storied career. 

Starting his day on the back nine at the TPC Scottsdale course, Lefty quickly made it readily apparent that Thursday would be a round for the ages. He started with four straight birdies, navigating the course with the type of ease and precision we so rarely saw from Mickelson in 2012.

After back-to-back pars on No. 14 and No. 15 made the buzz in the gallery die down a little bit, Mickelson picked business right back up with another scintillating run. The 42-year-old hit birdies on six of his next seven holes, peppering the course with accurate drives, beautiful approaches and near-perfect putting.

After a birdie on the par-three fourth hole put Mickelson at 10-under with five holes remaining, many began speculating about the PGA's first ever score of 58. Mickelson would have needed three more birdies in those five holes to make it happen, something that seemed well within reach considering his level of play on Thursday.

Unfortunately for the golf world, history was meant to be only on the course level, not the tour as a whole. Mickelson played those final holes at "just" one-under, including the now-infamous lip-out on No. 18.

Lefty's brilliant performance Thursday comes less than a week after Tiger Woods won the Farmers Insurance Open in vintage, dominant fashion. It led many to wonder whether Woods was finally returning to "old-school Tiger" form.

After Mickelson's day on Thursday, could 2013 see the renaissance of two of the all-time great golfers? That remains to be seen. But based on what we saw last weekend from Woods and Thursday from Mickelson, Rory McIlroy has some luminous figures lingering in his rear-view mirror.