• Waste Management Phoenix Open, Round One

Mickelson lips out for 59 in Phoenix

ESPN staff
January 31, 2013
Phil Mickelson narrowly failed in his bid for a round of 59 © Getty Images

Waste Management Phoenix Open leaderboard

Phil Mickelson agonisingly missed out on becoming the sixth player in PGA Tour history to record a round of 59, after his mid-range putt lipped out at the last on Thursday.

Mickelson, who previously broke the mythical 60 barrier at the unsanctioned Grand Slam of Golf back in 2004, was well on course for the landmark at the Waste Management Phoenix Open when he made the turn in 29, before birdies at three of the opening four holes after the turn left him needing to pick up just two shots over his final five holes.

But a birdie at the par-three seventh - Mickelson started his day at the 10th - was the only additional shot the left-hander managed to engineer, before a missed attempt at the eighth left him needing to birdie the last to make some history at TPC Scottsdale.

A decent approach shot left Mickelson with around a 30-footer for the 59 - and the five-time major champion thought he had made it as the ball tracked towards the hole, before dramatically hitting the hole and lipping out, completing a near-180 as it came to rest inches from the cup.

The putt left both Mickelson and caddie Jim Mackay on their knees on the green, as the crowd applauded the near-miss.

"I'm kind of mortified that did not go in," Mickelson said afterwards. "You don't have chances to shoot 59 often.

"The last six feet it was right on glide slope. It should've been right in middle."

Nevertheless, the round unsurprisingly left Mickelson out on his own atop the leaderboard - four shots clear of a group of players including Padraig Harrington, whose 64 looked positively pedestrian by comparison.

Harrington's seven-under round was matched by FedEx Cup champion Brandt Snedeker and Ryan Palmer, with Nicolas Colsaerts among a group a single shot further behind.

Stuart Appleby, Paul Goydos, David Duval, Chip Beck and Al Geiberger are the players to have previously shot 59 in PGA Tour events.

Mickelson's previous best PGA Tour round was also 60, shooting the score at the same tournament back in 2005 - an event he eventually went on to win.

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