Lefty expecting better to come

Phil Mickelson was happy with his opening 69 in Singapore today, but says he expects there is better to come.

World number two Phil Mickelson was happy with his opening 69 at the Barclays Singapore Open today (Thursday) but expects to up his ante over the next three days.
After beating Tiger Woods in the season-ending Tour Championship last month to reclaim second place in the world rankings, and remaining unbeaten during the United States victory in The Presidents Cup, Mickelson looks to be back to his best following a six-week break.
The 39-year-old left-hander did not have it all his own way today on the 7,300-yard Serapong Course, splashing his card with three bogeys.
However his cause was helped by a chip-in eagle after his seven-iron approach into the 13th took a fortunate bounce.
After starting on the 10th he reached the turn in two under and in contention with the early pacesetters, but scattered two bogeys against two birdies coming home on the first nine, and he sits three shots adrift of clubhouse leader Ian Poulter heading into Friday’s second round.
“I played well today and hit a lot of good shots,” Mickelson said.
“The course is in wonderful condition but it is also very difficult with the rough being so thick. The fairways are immaculate and we could lift and clean the ball today which helped getting perfect lies.
“I putted well today and as the week goes on I think I will get better and better as I get accustomed to the speed of the greens and the grass as well as just getting into the competition aspect of it.
“I do not know why the course is seeming to play harder than last year as the greens are soft and receptive but the rough is a lot thicker in a number of areas and has been brought in making it extremely tight in some spots. It is much more difficult to hit the fairways.
“I am happy with the first round. I could have done a little bit better on the greens but I am getting accustomed to the greens and am putting well. I expect to play better and score better as the week goes on.”
Mickelson yesterday predicted a winning score of 16 or 17 under par, and he certainly knows how to score well around the picturesque course following a third-round 66 last year which put him into the final group on Sunday, even though he was eventually forced to settle for ninth following a closing four-over-par 75.
“There are a lot of holes here that are very tight off the tee – very difficult driving holes,” Mickelson said.
“The third is one of them. As a left-handed player, I look up and see the trouble down the left.
“I am staring right into the hazard and it is a very unnerving feeling.
“It has been a tee shot I have struggled with in the past. I am more confident this week, I will be hitting a hybrid. I missed it as bad as I could miss it and it was still okay today.”