Phil Mickelson was a complete bust last week at the Ryder Cup.
He couldn’t have found a birdie at Le Golf National with a map.
On Thursday he found himself back in the loving arms of Momma — with Momma being the birdie-friendly PGA Tour.
Mickelson, who went 0-2 in France, made six straight birdies Thursday on his way to a seven-under par effort of 65 on season-opening day at The Safeway.
“I’ve been putting well, like I can putt,” Mickelson said. “But I was surprised at some of the shots I’ve hit. Honestly, I hit it just terrible and today was kind of an anomaly. Don’t let the good round fool you. I’m not at all at my best. A few things clicked and it was fun.
“I had two terrible weeks at BMW and the TOUR Championship,” Mickelson said. “But I’ve become a great putter week in and week out with a few bad weeks as opposed to in the past I’ve been kind of an average putter with a few spikes. I’m back to putting well again and rolling it in the way I did all last year.”
Add the Ryder Cup effort to those “terrible” weeks.
But the Silverado Resort in Napa was waiting with birdies for everyone in this season-opener for the PGA Tour.
What you have are the Web.com grads along with guys struggling to find their games. Toss in the tour journeymen and you have a fairly undistinguished field at Johnny Miller’s course.
Sepp Straka is one of those Web.com guys, got his card in the finals, finished third in their Tour Championship and obviously carried that momentum and posted a nine-under par 63 to take the day one lead.
Brandt Snedeker is the other “name” player along with Mickelson and he didn’t disappoint. Sneds put together an six-under par effort (66) to trail Straka, a former University of Georgia player from Austria, by three shots.