Wells Fargo Championship

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First Round News & Notes: Mickelson Leads by Two Shots

CHARLOTTE, N.C. —  Phil Mickelson has gone nine months since he finished among the top 20, and it looks as though that streak is about to end at the Wells Fargo Championship.

The 50-year-old Mickelson kept his focus Thursday at Quail Hollow and blistered the course for a 7-under 64 to build a two-shot lead after the opening round. All but one of his eight birdies was longer than about 5 feet.

Mickelson ran off five birdies in a six-hole stretch around the turn. He closed with two birdies and a superb par save on the par-4 ninth for his best score since a 63 in the second round of the Travelers Championship last June.

K.H. Lee had a 66 in the morning, while Innisbrook runner-up Keegan Bradley had a 66 in the afternoon.


Mostly sunny. High of 71. Wind NNW 5-10 mph

First-Round Leaderboard

Phil Mickelson64(-7)
K.H. Lee66(-5)
Keegan Bradley66(-5)
Six players at 4-under 67

Things to Know

  • Phil Mickelson holds an opening-round lead/co-lead on the PGA TOUR for the first time since the 2019 American Express, a span of 840 days
  • No player has led by more than two strokes after 18 holes at the Wells Fargo Championship 
  • Following a runner-up at last week’s Valspar Championship, Keegan Bradley records one of two bogey-free rounds (66)
  • Rory McIlroy recorded a 1-over 72, the third time in 10 starts in the event he opened with an over-par score

First-Round Lead Notes

2First-round leaders/co-leaders to win the Wells Fargo Championship (Jim Furyk/2006, Derek Ernst/2013)
5First-round leaders/co-leaders to win during the 2020-21 PGA TOUR Season (most recent: Matt Jones/The Honda Classic)

Phil Mickelson (1st/-7)

Category (Entering this week)Phil Mickelson
Age50 (June 16, 1970)
Starts at Wells Fargo Championship16
Wins at Wells Fargo Championship0
Top-10s at Wells Fargo Championship10
Career PGA TOUR starts642
Career PGA TOUR wins44
Career PGA TOUR top-10s196
PGA TOUR starts in 2020-2113
PGA TOUR wins in 2020-210
PGA TOUR starts in 2020-21

Phil Mickelson

  • Marks 30th first-round lead/co-lead on the PGA TOUR and first since the 2019 American Express (finished T2); converted 9-of-29 previous 18-hole leads/co-leads on TOUR (last: 2013 Waste Management Phoenix Open)
  • Last lead after any round on the PGA TOUR: 2020 Travelers Championship (finished T24)
  • 7-under 64 marks lowest score on TOUR since the second round of the 2020 Travelers Championship (63)
  • Records third score of 64 or better in his 63rd round in the event: 2018/R3/64, 2014/R3/63
  • 44-time PGA TOUR winner has yet to win on TOUR since turning 50 on June 16, 2020
  • 64 marks the lowest score by a player over the age of 50 in the event (previous: 65/Jay Haas/2006/R3)
  • At age 50 years, 10 months, 20 days, becomes the oldest leader/co-leader in tournament history (previous: Nick Price/46 years, 3 months/2003/R2)
  • Has not finished inside the top 20 in 13 starts this season; T21 at the 2021 Masters Tournament marks best finish
  • Last top-10 on TOUR: T2/2020 WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational
  • Making 17th start in the Wells Fargo Championship; Has eight top-five finishes in the event, the most of any player (next: 4/Rory McIlroy); First missed cut in the event came in 2019 (71-76)
  • the Wells Fargo Championship is one of seven events he has made more than 15 starts without yielding a victory

Most starts at an event without a win

Tournament# of Starts
U.S. Open29
BMW Championship22
WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational22
the Memorial Tournament20
Wells Fargo Championship16
WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play15

K.H. Lee

  • Makes second start in the Wells Fargo Championship (2019/T60)
  • Recorded 172’ 10” putts made, marking his most in a round by nearly 40 feet (previous best: 132’ 11”/2021 Waste Management Phoenix Open/R2); marks third-most feet of made putts in a round at Quail Hollow Club (most: 197’/Adam Schenk/2018/R2)
  • Seeks first TOUR win in 79th career start; career-best finish came at 2021 Waste Management Phoenix Open (T2)
  • Born in Seoul, South Korea, is one of eight PGA TOUR members from South Korea 

Additional Player Notes

  • World No. 3 Jon Rahm posted a 5-over 76, ending a streak of eight consecutive par-or-better rounds dating to a final-round 73 at THE PLAYERS Championship; Rahm leads the TOUR for consecutive cuts made (22) and has only one missed cut since June 1, 2019 (2020 Charles Schwab Challenge)
  • Defending champion Max Homa recorded a 6-over 77, his highest score in 10 rounds in the Wells Fargo Championship and his highest score on TOUR since a 78 in the first round of the 2020 U.S. Open
  • Keith Mitchell (T4), who tied Phil Mickelson for most birdies in round one (8), birdied Nos. 2-5, the seventh time he has recorded four consecutive birdies in a round; Mitchell has never made more than four birdies in a row
  • Bo Van Pelt (T72) made a 91’ 7” birdie putt on his first hole of the day (No. 1) for the longest made putt of the round; The longest putt made on TOUR in the 2020-21 season was by Zach Johnson on No. 1 at Winged Foot Golf Club during the opening round of the 2020 U.S. Open. 

Course Statistics

Toughest HoleEasiest Hole
R1:Par-4 18th (4.316)Par-5 15th (4.568)

Scoring Averages

Front 9Back 9TotalCumulative

Bogey-free rounds

R1 (2):Keegan Bradley (66), Peter Malnati (67)