Phil Mickelson fell agonisingly short in a spectacular bid to become the sixth player to dip under 60 on the PGA Tour when his birdie putt for a magical 59 horseshoed out at the Phoenix Open in Scottsdale, Arizona on Thursday.
Having lined up a 25-footer at the par-four ninth, his final hole in the opening round at the TPC Scottsdale, Mickelson watched in anguish as his ball caught the right edge of the cup before rolling around the back of hole and spinning out.
"The last six feet it was right on line and slope, it should have been right in the middle," Mickelson told Golf Channel. "To have that putt on line, I am kind of mortified that it didn't go in."
The four-times major champion, on the walk, had pointed his putter in the direction of the ball as it seemed destined to drop into the cup but then clutched his head with his left hand after his hopes of a 59 were so cruelly dashed.
Mickelson had to settle for an 11-under-par 60, tying the course record as he grabbed an early four-shot lead in the fifth PGA Tour event of the season.
Fellow American Ryan Palmer opened with a 64 while fellow American Matt Every and Belgian rookie Nicolas Colsaerts carded matching 65s.
"I'm ecstatic to shoot 60," twice Phoenix Open champion Mickelson said after piling up 11 birdies in a flawless display golf. "I am excited and so forth but you don't get chances to shoot 59 very often.
"I could not envision what side of the hole it would have missed on when it was a foot out. But I made a ton of putts today. I hit a lot of great shots and I drove it very well."
The five players who have shot 59s on the PGA Tour are Americans Al Geiberger (1977 Memphis Classic), Chip Beck (1991 Las Vegas Invitational), David Duval (1999 Bob Hope Classic), Paul Goydos (2010 John Deere Classic) and Australian Stuart Appleby (2010 Greenbrier Classic).