PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. — Phil Mickelson has been coming to the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am since 1995 and has won it four times, so there isn't much he hasn't accomplished along the Monterey Peninsula. Thursday delivered something new.
Mickelson didn't miss a single fairway.
"History was made today," Mickelson said after his 6-under 65 at Monterey Peninsula, leaving him one shot behind Brian Gay and Scott Langley. "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 competition. I may have done it before, but I don't ever recall doing it."
His accuracy was better than his memory.
According to the PGA Tour, Mickelson has done it seven times, most recently 21 years ago at Torrey Pines. Perhaps even more remarkable about that round in 1998 was that even playing from the short grass on every shot, he still had a 73.
That wasn't the case on an ideal day — perhaps the last beautiful day of the week — for scoring. Over three rain-softened tracks — the Shore Course at Monterey Peninsula, Spyglass Hill and Pebble Beach — 59 players in the 156-man field shot in the 60s.
And there was no shortage of entertainment, as usual.
Brandt Snedeker probably wasn't thinking birdie when his tee shot on the par-5 18th at Pebble Beach missed left and bounced down to the sandy shore. He played it off the beach back to the fairway, hit 7-iron to 10 feet and made the putt for a 69.
"I didn't hit myself, I didn't fall down getting out of the rocks down there — it was a little slippery," Snedeker said. "So it all worked out great. I'm feeling like a genius right now, but at the time I didn't know."
Johnson, Flanagan hold Vic Open leads
BARWON HEADS, Australia — Felicity Johnson made a late move up the leaderboard Thursday at the LPGA's Vic Open to take a two-stroke lead after the opening round.
The Englishwoman shot an 8-under 65 on the Creek course at the 13th Beach Golf Links, where men and women played in alternate groups in the unique tournament format also sanctioned by the men's European Tour.
Su Oh of Australia had a hole-in-one and had held the lead for most of the day with Anne-Catherine Tanguay, both at 6 under. Kim Kaufman joined them in a tie for second with a 66 in the afternoon.
Oh aced the 138-meter par-3 15th hole with a 6-iron. Tanguay played the par-72 Beach course and shot 66.
Nick Flanagan, an Australian who won the 2003 U.S. Amateur, shot a 10-under 62 on the Creek course to take a two-stroke lead in the men's tournament.
Among those tied for second were Flanagan's roommate, James Nitties, and Kurt Kitayama, Hugo Leon and Callum Shinkwin. Andrew (Beef) Johnston shot 66, also on the Creek course, as did former U.S. Open champion Geoff Ogivly on the Beach course.