Phil Makes Greatest Par That Never Happened

The first round of the 2019 Genesis Open was a crazy one. 

Because of the number of players in the field and the amount of daylight the Los Angeles course has on a given day, players teed off at Riviera Country Club on Thursday morning before 7 a.m. PST. As the day grew older, the weather became worse, ultimately resulting in what would amount to be a seven-hour rain delay.

Before the horn blew at 7:31 a.m., 10 groups had started their rounds, including the marquee grouping of Phil Mickelson, Jordan Spieth and Xander Schauffele. The threesome was only able to play their tee shots on the tricky par-4 10th hole before rules officials declared the conditions unplayable.

However, because the reason for the stoppage wasn’t dangerous weather, players had the option to finish the hole they were playing if they so chose. 

Phil Mickelson exercised that option and made one of the best pars of his life.

After finding the fairway bunker off the tee, Mickelson then hit into a plugged lie in the greenside bunker. He proceeded to blast out across the green to another bunker. From there, he proceeded to hole out for par.

No problem.

Except there was a problem. After a few hours of rain, PGA Tour officials decided that the 10 groups who had begun their rounds early on Thursday morning had played in deteriorating conditions unfairly, and as a result, their scores would be nullified with a complete tournament restart set to occur when weather conditions improved.

Although Mickelson’s par was wiped off the scorecard, when he restarted his round again at 2:22 p.m. PST, he was able to duplicate his par on 10 in a little more conventional fashion — hitting the green in regulation and two-putting. 

The weather delay only allowed the morning wave to tee off, with no groups able to finish.

The morning wave will return Friday to complete their first round, while the afternoon wave will play as much golf as they can on Friday in hopes of finishing both their first and second rounds. Then, on Saturday morning, the early starters from Thursday will play their second round with the 36-hole cut ideally coming mid-day Saturday.

The Tour hopes that the third round will be completed by early Sunday morning and a champion will be crowned as planned on Sunday evening.