Phil Mickelson did not buy a bogeyman in his opening round
Five-time main champion Phil Mickelson scored the lowest lap of his career with a 12-under-par 60 at the Desert Classic in California.
his first round of the year, the American, 48, shot 10 birdies and an eagle on La Quinta to lead by four strokes halfway through an opening round delayed by fog.
Great Britain Justin Rose, the number one in the world, is four years after the shooting on a 72.
The Scotsman Martin Laird led nine birdies in 65 on the Nicklaus track.
The tournament is played in three locations: La Quinta, the Nicklaus tournament course and the host Stadium Course, which will be held in the final round of Sunday.
Mickelson, who has ringed twice 11 rounds of 60 in the Phoenix Open, was eight under after 11 holes.
He found a bunker on the par-three 12th and needed a great escape to six inches to save par, and demolished for a birdie on the par-four 14th.
Needed the last two-hole birdie for a 59, he saw a birdie putt on the 17th slide, for the 10-foot hole for a birdie on the last one.
"I really did not think this would be a day when I would drop in. I came in with very low expectations," Mickelson said.
"I did not have much time to practice and prepare, but sometimes you have days when it clicks and the bad photos I hit, I got away with."