September snowman derails Phil Mickelson in first round at Deutsche Bank Championship

There were misfires into bunkers and errant shots played from rock croppings, but the swings that undid Phil Mickelson’s first round of the Deutsche Bank Championship Friday came from inside a hazard alongside the sixth green.


It’s a hole that hasn’t been kind to Mickelson over the years, although he took it to another level on yet an adventurous day around the golf course.


Mickelson, a winner in his debut at TPC Boston in 2007 and a confirmed admirer of the golf course, was off a nice start — 1 under through four holes. Even the bogey he made when he found a greenside bunker didn’t appear upsetting.


Then came the sixth.

Mickelson was center cut with his drive and had just 144 yards to a hole location front left. It was a miserable shot, a head-hanger from the get-go, and when it came up short in the hazard, it appeared to have double-bogey written all over it.


Only Lefty turned down the option of taking a drop and he maneuvered his way into the hazard to take a whack. Then, he needed a second. The ball barely moved each time and so finally, with it likely plugged in the mud, Mickelson chose to take a drop.


His sixth shot found the green, but two putts meant we had a September snowman, a quadruple-bogey eight. It was not the worst score of the day — Chez Reavie had a 9 at the par-5 seventh — but for Mickelson it most assuredly created too much ground to make up.


The adventures were not over, however, because at the par-5 seventh Mickelson played his third shot out of the trees and made bogey. He found a fairway bunker at the 15th, but scraped out a par. At 17, another greenside bunker, but another save. Then at 18, it was vintage Mickelson — wide right with his second into the par 5, he was standing inside the hazard line when he hit a skyscraper of a flop shot that landed within a foot for a tap-in birdie, just his second of the day.


A most positive ending to a most deflating of days (4-over 75), for Mickelson had come in excited about his game and his FedEx Cup chances. But all of it came to a crashing halt at the par-4 sixth, a hole on which he is now 13 over par in 36

Phil Mickelson