Phil Mickelson apparently was willing to try anything to break out of a season-long funk, up to and including a six-day fast during which he subsisted on water and a “special coffee blend for wellness.” He claimed earlier in the week to have lost 15 pounds in hopes of playing well at the British Open, a tournament he won in 2013 and the site of his most recent top 10 finish at a major, second place three years ago at Royal Troon.
Mickelson called it a “hard reset,” but it hardly did anything to change his fortunes. His first round at Royal Portrush on Thursday featured seven bogeys and he finished with a 5-over-par 76.
The fifth hole, a 368-yard par 4, exemplified Mickelson’s struggles on the day. He reached the green with his tee shot only to send his eagle putt six feet past the hole. Then he missed the birdie putt, too.
It’s unclear what Mickelson thought about all this, considering he didn’t speak to reporters after his round.
Mickelson’s season started strong with a win at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am in February but he hasn’t done much of anything since then, a tie for 18th at the Masters being the post-Pebble Beach high point. He’s missed seven cuts, including three of the four tournaments that preceded the British Open.