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Mickelson well back at U.S. Open after 9-over opening round

Phil Mickelson Phil Mickelson - The Canadian Press

Phil Mickelson's woes at the U.S. Open continued with a rough start to the 2024 tournament on Thursday.

Mickelson, who still needs a win at the tournament to complete his career grand slam, finished his round at 9-over 79. The lead for the tournament belongs to Patrick Cantlay, who was 5-under on Thursday.

The 53-year-old has placed second (or tied for second) six times at the U.S. Open, but will need a phenomenal second round Friday just to make the cut. 

Mickelson failed to find a birdie on Thursday and opened his round with four straight bogeys and six in his first eight holes. He steadied his round late, finishing with five pars to limit the opening-round damage.

The lefty was not alone in his struggles, five players finished at 9-over among the morning tee times, with amateur Charlie Reiter sitting last in the field at 10-over. 

Justin Thomas and Sahith Theegala also face uphill battles to make the cut after finishing at 7-over.