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Phil Mickelson
Phil Mickelson had a highlight early Sunday, but the rest of his day was as disappointing as the rest of his week. (Franklin/Getty Images)

Eagle is lone highlight of Mickelson's forgettable week

Phil Mickelson drained a 200-yard approach shot on his first hole Sunday morning. That was about all that went right for Lefty, though, as he was left to regroup for the remainder of the season.

CHASKA, Minn. (AP) -- Phil Mickelson’s second shot Sunday at the PGA Championship carried about 199 yards, bounced 6 feet in front of the hole and found the cup for an eagle.

“I couldn’t believe that thing went in,” Mickelson said. “Those are fun to see.”

It also proved to be a mirage.

Mickelson shot 6 over on the remaining 17 holes to cap a miserable week at Hazeltine National, finishing 12 over 300. It’s the first time he’s shot 300 at a major in 11 years, dating to the British Open at Royal Birkdale in 1998.

“The last two weeks have been frustrating with my play,” Mickelson said. “I’ll have a week off here fortunately before we start the FedExCup and I’ll see if I can get my game turned around for Barclays.”

Lefty took six weeks off earlier this summer after his wife and mother were diagnosed with breast cancer, and his game has been slow to return. He played last week at the Bridgestone for the first time since the U.S. Open in June and tied for 58th.

His struggles continued at the PGA Championship.

Mickelson teed off bright and early at 8:12 a.m., and he woke up the crowd when he holed out for eagle on the par-4, 490-yard first hole. The roar could be heard across the course, and it spurred Mickelson on to a 1-under 35 on the front nine.

Of course, Mickelson didn’t have to putt on No. 1, which was a good thing. He has struggled all week to regain his putting stroke with minimal success. He needed 34 putts in the first round, 33 in the second and 30 on Saturday as he plummeted out of contention.

“I haven’t putted the best for a little while now, so it’s probably going to take a little more than overnight,” he said. “But I at least feel like I have a little bit better direction.”

Mickelson birdied Nos. 9 and 14, but a disastrous trip through the signature 16th summed up his week. He hit a poor tee shot way left into the hazard area, but was able to play it in the deep rough. But he chunked his utility club and the ball plopped into the creek just a few feet down the slope.

Mickelson spent extra time on the practice greens this week tinkering with his putting stroke, but declined to discuss the changes he was making.

He said will play The Barclays in two weeks, but has not laid out a longer-term plan for the rest of the season.

Fred Couples did say though that he expects Mickelson to play in the Presidents Cup.

“I think everything is fine there,” Couples said. “I hope he wants to play. I hope he can play. I hope Amy’s there. I believe in all that that they will both be there.”

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