Phil Mickelson Suffers a PGA Tour Misery From Nick Taylor Amid Worrying Las Vegas Struggle

Published 02/09/2024, 7:00 PM EST

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via Reuters

The second event on the 2024 LIV Golf calendar is almost at its final step. Well, Phil Mickelson had teed it off on Thursday in the hopes of a better performance following a disappointing stint at Mayakoba. But it seems Lady Misfortune didn’t let go of ‘Lefty’ while in Las Vegas as well. Why? Two reasons. One: a T31 finish after day 2. Two: Nick Taylor.

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But, isn’t Taylor a professional on the PGA Tour? Yes, that is true. He is currently duking it out against the field of athletes at the WM Phoenix Open. However, interestingly, his first-round performance has come off as nothing short of a massive slap to the left-handed golfer in the Saudi-backed league!

Nick Taylor surpasses Phil Mickelson

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At TPC Scottsdale back in 2013, a 43-year-old Mickelson won the WM Phoenix Open after carding a 28-under 256. He managed to do so by scoring 60-65-64-67 over the four days of play, leading the field by a total of 4 strokes ahead of Brandt Snedeker, the runner-up at 24-under 260. The LIV Golf Pro’s finish back then got him the “record for the largest 18-hole lead at the WM Phoenix Open.” Till now, that is.

Now, enter Taylor. The three-time PGA Tour champ, after the first day of play, scored an 11-under-60 at TPC Scottsdale. This performance managed to outshine the 53-year-old’s previous record at the Phoenix Open by allowing him to maintain a five-stroke lead at the end of round 1, one more than the six-time major champ. How? He did so by carding a total of 11 birdies, six of which came off the first nine. Taylor even shared his thoughts about his gameplay and said, “I just want to keep making as many birdies as I can.”

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Moreover, the amazing performance helped the 35-year-old tie with Jim Gallagher Jr. “for the largest 18-hole lead in a stroke-play event on record,” the latter of whom managed to card the same at the 1993 Tour Championship. Gallagher, at the Lake Course in Olympic Club, was able to shoot a course record of 63 (-8) on the first day of the 1993 event, helping him emerge victorious at the same.

Well, that’s just one part of Mickelson’s misery at the moment. The second and final part is what he is currently experiencing at the LIV Golf event in Las Vegas.

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Mickelson at LIV Golf Las Vegas

The golfer is currently tied at T31 with a total of five other professionals, including the likes of Harold Varner III, Eugenio Chacarra, Cameron Tringale, Kieran Vincent, and Sergio Garcia. Over the two days of play, ‘Lefty’ was only able to register a total of 3-under 137 by scoring a par 70 on day 1, followed by a 67 (-3) on Friday.

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After round two, the golfer’s tally of bogeys at the Las Vegas event reached six, while he was able to dish out nine birdies over the two rounds. What’s more, his placement at T31 has him a long way off the top spot, considerably lowering his chances of claiming the title on the Super Bowl’s turf. Nevertheless, his fans would be hoping for him to come out guns blazing on the final day on Sunday.

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Written by:

Allan Abe

887Articles

One take at a time

My search for happiness eventually led me, Allan Abe, to the hallways of ES after dabbling in different fields. Following my childhood passion for the sport and coupling it with my passion for writing, the role of a golf writer was the perfect career path and has been more than a fruitful one. Through the live coverage and in-depth analysis of the lives of big stars like Tiger Woods and Jon Rahm, I have put to use all my journalistic-accolade-winning experience, from state-wide events to college competitions, to give the reader a great story with every piece.
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Edited by:

Tushhita.barua

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