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Mickelson falls 9 back of Prerez, Lee

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POSTED March 27, 2014 11:22 p.m.

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Long after the fog cleared at TPC San Antonio, Phil Mickelson remained shrouded in an increasingly alarming funk with the Masters two weeks away.

Mickelson shot a 5-over 77 on Thursday in the Texas Open to fall nine strokes back during the suspended first round. The 77 was Lefty’s highest score since a 78 in August in the PGA Championship.

“I had been playing real well at home, so to come out and play like this is disappointing,” Mickelson said. “Just didn’t feel quite sharp.”

In his previous two starts, Mickelson missed the cut in the Honda Classic and tied for 16th three weeks ago at Doral in the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship. He made his only other Texas Open appearance in 1992, so long ago that the event was only his 11th professional start on the PGA Tour.

Pat Perez and Danny Lee shot 4-under 68 to share the clubhouse lead and Andrew Loupe was 4 under with seven holes to play when darkness forced the suspension of play. The start was delayed 2 hours, 40 minutes because of fog, and 45 players were unable to finish the round.

Area resident Cameron Beckman, Puerto Rico Open winner Chesson Hadley, Will McKenzie and Seung-Yul Noh shot 69, and Miguel Angel Carballo and Justin Hicks also were 3 under. Carballo had four left, and Hicks three.

Jim Furyk, Zach Johnson and Matt Kuchar shot 70.

Defending champion Martin Laird opened with a 72, matching Valspar winner John Senden and Jeff Maggert, a winner last week in Mississippi in his Champions Tour debut.

KIA CLASSIC

CARLSBAD  (AP) — Paula Creamer easily overcame tricky morning wind conditions in the Kia Classic for a share of the first-round lead with Mariajo Uribe.

Creamer and Uribe shot 5-under 67 at Aviara to finish a stroke ahead of Cristie Kerr, Shanshan Feng, Jodi Ewart Shadoff and Mi Hyang Lee.

A playoff winner March 2 in Singapore, Creamer had six birdies and bogeyed the par-4 15th — her sixth hole of the day — after her approach plugged in the face of a bunker.

In Singapore, she made a breaking, downhill 75-foot eagle putt on the second extra hole to beat Azahara Munoz. The victory ended a 79-event drought dating to the 2010 U.S. Women’s Open.

Uribe, from Colombia, birdied Nos. 2-5 and 11 in her bogey-free afternoon round. The former UCLA player won the 2007 U.S. Women’s Amateur.

Top-ranked Inbee Park, preparing for her title defense next week in the Kraft Nabisco Championship in Rancho Mirage, was two strokes back at 69 along with Munoz, Lexi Thompson, Lizette Salas and Tiffany Joh.

EURASIA CUP

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — European captain Miguel Angel Jimenez and fellow Spaniard Pablo Larrazabal beat Asian captain Thongchai Jaidee and Kiradech Aphibarnrat 2 and 1 to help Europe sweep the five opening fourball match in the EurAsia Cup.

Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano and Stephen Gallacher beat India’s Gaganjeet Bhullar and Anirban Lahiri 4 and 3, Victor Dubuison and Joost Luiten topped Prayad Marksaeng and Siddikur Rahan 3 and 2, Thomas Bjorn and Thorbjorn Olesen beat Koumei Oda and Hideto Tanihara 2 up, and Graeme McDowell and Jamie Donaldson rallied to beat Kim Hyung-sung and Nicholas Fung 3 and 1 at Glenmarie.

The teams will play five foursomes matches Friday and 10 singles match Saturday.

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