Phil Mickelson piecing together a 4-under-par 67 to join a share of six-way lead heading into round two today in Mexico City. Lefty split nine (of 14) fairways and also landed 13 greens in regulation. In typical Mickelson fashion, he was also a perfect 3-for-3 from greenside bunkers. After his round he cited his love for playing in altitude including his strong track record at The International, the now-defunct Stableford event played at Castle Pines Golf Club in Colorado. He won the event in 1993 and 1997…. To me he wasn’t on my radar this week due to his age and altitude adjustment throughout the week should start to wear on him …. with that said I probably should have picked him for round one and bench him the rest of the way.
Ryan Moore shot a 4-under-par 67 joining five others at the top of the leaderboard after day one. The five-time TOUR winner opened his week by splitting 11 (of 14) fairways to setup solid approach angles throughout the round. He capitalized by gaining 2.34 strokes approaching-the-green and also splashed home four putts from outside eight feet. That includes birdie bombs from 31’4″ and 23’11” at the par-4 second and par-4 fifth holes, respectively. Moore is playing in his 20th career WGC event this week and already has five top 10s on his WGC resume.
Jimmy Walker raced out of the gates at the World Golf Championships-Mexico Championship, firing a 4-under-par 33-34=67 in round one to grab a share of the early clubhouse lead with play still in progress. Playing in his 13th career WGC event, Walker wasted no time getting into the mix this week. He opened on the back nine and picked off birdies at the par-5 15th (tap-in) and par-3 17th (10’1″) before making the turn. That opened the flood gates, as he birdied four of the first six holes on his homeward nine. Walker closed with bogeys at 7 and 8 to leave a sour taste in his mouth, but should be rather pleased with his overall performance on day one.
Ross Fisher feasted on Club de Golf Chapultepec in round one walking away with a 4-under-par 67 to tie for the lead. The Englishman had birdies at 2, 5, and 7 to grab an early lead before wasting one at the par-4 ninth. He bounced back with a birdie at the par-4 11th and saved the best for last when he walked off with a 22-foot birdie bomb at the par-4 18th. It was his second putt converted from outside 20 feet.
Returning from a rib/back injury, Rory McIlroy showed no signs of that injury today. Although it was altitude-aided, he bombed 10 drives of 310 yards or longer. The longest being a 368-yard poke at the par-5 sixth. He converted that great drive into an eagle after splashing home a 28’3″ putt. Most of his damage was accomplished with that aggressive play off the tee. Good to see him back.