Spieth trending in ‘right direction’ ahead of Pebble Beach

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'I may have done it before but I don't ever recall doing it'.

Graeme McDowell enjoyed returning to the scene of his 2010 US Open victory as he made seven birdies in a 68, although he finished in disappointing style when he three-putted from 20 feet on the final green to sign off with a bogey-six.

Mickelson had a blast getting himself in an early position to contend for his 44th PGA Tour title.

"It was a really good solid round, good solid start, and we had attractive weather and the golf course here is in spectacular shape".

"I have the honour to play all three courses here and, just because of such lovely scenery, I couldn't even focus on where my ball was going".

"I think history was made as far as my career".

A poor three-putt bogey from 21 feet at the 18th took some of the gloss off his day but he was still just three shots behind early leader Brian Gay, who shot a seven-under 64 at Monterey Peninsula where four-time victor Phil Mickelson carded a 65 and Dustin Johnson and Jordan Spieth opened with 66s.

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Mickelson, who was runner-up to Adam Long at last month's Desert Classic but missed the cut at the Phoenix Open last week, hit all 13 fairways for the first time in a PGA Tour round since the Farmers Insurance Open in 1998.

It was not just Mickelson's driver that was working.

Pebble Beach will also host the U.S. Open in June when the course is likely to be much drier than the damp, lush conditions that will greet players this week after recent heavy rains. I hit a lot of good quality drives off the tee today that set me up. "But I am looking to build off something this week to get this season kick-started really".

"I played 18 holes on Tuesday and that was my first 18 holes since 29th December".

Meanwhile, Aaron Baddeley was next best of the Australians with a three-under-par 69 at the hard Spyglass Hill leaving him just four shots off the pace.

Gay made rapid strides up the leaderboard when he reeled off five consecutive birdies and added three more over the last five holes to post a 64 which was later matches by Langley, with both leaders making their scores at the Monterey layout.

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