SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Phil Mickelson missed out on a 59 by a fraction of an inch Thursday in the Phoenix Open.
Mickelson had a chance to become only the sixth player in PGA Tour history to break 60 with a 25-foot birdie attempt on his last hole, the par-4 ninth at the TPC Scottsdale. The putt looked good all the way, and Mickelson pointed his putter at the cup as he prepared to celebrate.
Right at the end, though, the ball caught the right edge of the cup, curled 180 degrees to the other side of the hole and stayed out.
His caddie, Jim Mackay, fell to his knees and stayed there several seconds. Mickelson had to settle the course record, which he previously set in the Phoenix Open eight years ago.
Colt Knost (Garrettsville) shot an even-par 71 in the first round.
Sterne shoots 10-under 62 to lead in Dubai
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates -- Richard Sterne nearly broke the course record at the Dubai Desert Classic on Thursday, shooting 10-under 62 in the first round to finish one shot ahead of Stephen Gallacher.
The 165th-ranked South African, who has struggled in recent years with back problems, started with three birdies on his first four holes. Sterne was on pace to break the course record of 61 set by Ernie Els in 1994, but couldn't convert late birdie chances.
"It's as good a start as I could have hoped for," said Sterne, whose back trouble limited him to a handful of tournaments in 2010 and 2011.
Gallacher also had a strong start with three birdies and an eagle on the front nine en route to his 63. He had two straight bogeys on the back before an eagle and three birdies on the final four holes to pull into contention.
Scott Jamieson, Chris Doak and Tommy Fleetwood shot 65s. Paul Casey was another stroke back.