By CHRISTOPHER POWERS
When the weather co-operates, all three courses utilised in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am are gettable for the best players in the world, but Monterey Peninsula’s Shore course is the one you want to go low on. To make it to Sunday, it’s imperative to take advantage of your one chance at MPCC, which is why you’ll often see the initials MP next to most of the players at the top of the day one leaderboard.
Among those names after the first round are Phil Mickelson and Jason Day, who each carded a six-under 65 on the Shore course with just two bogeys between them. Mickelson’s round was highlighted by his play with the driver, as he hit every single fairway in regulation, something he hasn’t done in 21 years. It’s been so long that he doesn’t even remember ever doing it.
“So history was made today,” Mickelson said. “To the best of my knowledge it’s taken me 27 years and a few months to hit all fairways in a single round in a competition. I may have done it before but I don’t ever recall doing it.”
He was off by six years, per Golf Channel senior researcher Justin Ray, who pointed out that Lefty had last accomplished the feat in 1998 at the pre-renovation version of Torrey Pines.
Day wasn’t too shabby off the tee either, though he only hit a paltry 11 of his 13 fairways. He and Mickelson are among a large group tied for second that includes Kevin Kisner, whose 65 also came on the Shore course. Of the eight players at six-under or better, only two posted their numbers elsewhere, Si Woo Kim’s 66 coming at Pebble Beach and Cody Gribble’s 66 coming at Spyglass Hill, the toughest of the three courses players face this week.
Close behind are Dustin Johnson and Jordan Spieth, who played alongside one another at Monterey Peninsula and carded matching five-under 66s.