Kokrak starts 1-over

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Warren’s Jason Kokrak, who withdrew from last week’s Farmers Insurance Open with a strained back, began Thursday’s Phoenix Open with a 1-over 72.

Phil Mickelson, on the other hand, almost reached golf immortality. He pointed his putter at the cup and started to walk toward the hole, ready to celebrate golf’s magic number.

Right at the end, though, the ball caught the right edge of the cup, curled 180 degrees to the other side of the hole and stayed out. A fraction of inch turned cheers to gasps and cost him a 59 on Thursday in the first round of the Phoenix Open.

Five players have shot 59 in official PGA Tour events. Al Geiberger did it in the 1977 Memphis Classic, Chip Beck in the 1991 Las Vegas Invitational, David Duval in the 1999 Bob Hope Invitational, Paul Goydos in the 2010 John Deere Classic and Stuart Appleby in the 2010 Greenbrier Classic. Japan’s Ryo Ishikawa had the lowest round on a major tour, shooting a 12-under 58 to win the 2010 Crowns on the Japan Tour.