LA QUINTA (AP) — Phil Mickelson got most of the attention in his return to competition after a four-month break. Blake Adams got a lot more out of his comeback round.
Mickelson shot a 1-under 71 on Thursday in the Humana Challenge in his first event since the Ryder Cup, leaving him eight strokes behind leader Michael Putnam.
“Even though this score is the worst I’ve had in a long time, in months, I’m excited about my game and getting back out tomorrow,” Mickelson said. “I can’t wait to get started again, because I just feel like I played a little tight today, kind of steered it a little bit.”
Adams had a 64 on PGA West’s Jack Nicklaus Private Course in his return from hip replacement surgery. He last played a PGA Tour event in March and had surgery in July.
“Very, very blessed to be back out here,” Adams said. “It’s been a long road to get back. You never know what you’re going to get when you have total hip replacement.”
The 39-year-old Adams had six straight birdies from No. 14 to No. 1, added three in a row on Nos. 5-7 and closed with a bogey. Playing on a major medical extension, he has 16 events to earn $497,044 to keep his tour card.
“If the putts fall, great, if they don’t, so be it,” Adams said. “I had a great day today. I’m going to go out there tomorrow and do my best and if I shoot 64 again, great. If I shoot 74, so be it.”
South African duo among 3 leaders at Qatar Masters
DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Bernd Wiesberger birdied his last hole to join South Africans Branden Grace and George Coetzee on top of the Qatar Masters leaderboard after the second round on Thursday.
Wiesberger’s 6-under-par 66 included four consecutive birdies from his fourth hole, the par-3 No. 13. The Austrian totaled 9-under 135 to share a one-shot lead with Grace (68) and Coetzee (67).
Wiesberger and Coetzee teed off in the morning, while Grace enjoyed near windless conditions in the afternoon, and was surprised at the end of the day that nobody achieved double figures under par.
“I really thought somebody was going to push (10 under),” said Grace, who won his fifth European Tour title last month in South Africa.
“You saw the guys from this morning, there were 6 unders and 5 unders and 7 unders, and nobody really pushed toward the end of the day.”
Grace thought one of the reasons could be that the greens were not that much quicker than he thought.
“They (greens) are still very good. They didn’t spike up at all, so it’s a big surprise nobody really pushed on,” he said.