Phil Mickelson charges through first round at Scottish Open

There's no use denying that Phil Mickelson needed a while to get over the hurt of finishing second at the U.S. Open last month.

"But part of professional golf is dealing with losing and dealing with disappointment and being resilient and bouncing back and using it as a steppingstone," Mickelson said.

The world's eighth-ranked golfer showed signs of snapping back into form on Thursday, shooting a 6-under 66 in the first round of the Scottish Open at Castle Stuart Golf Links in Inverness.

On a clear day that began with a three-putt bogey, Mickelson followed up with six birdies and an eagle on the 12th hole to finish two strokes back of early leader John Parry.

"With such perfect conditions, there was an opportunity in the middle of the round where I got it going, to get something really low," Mickelson said. "I'll have to work on my touch and get a little fine tuning around the greens."

Mickelson is one of several big names, along with Padraig Harrington and Ernie Els, who chose to play in Scotland as a tune-up for next week's British Open.

Other first round leaders included Simon Khan at 7-under, and Mikko Ilonen, Shane Lowry, James Morrison, Johan Edfors and Kiradech Aphibarnrat tied with Mickelson at 6-under.


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