The much-hyped PGA Tour debut for the unorthodox Ho Sung Choi did not go to plan early on as the South Korean slumped to four over after 10 holes at Monterey Peninsula, but he produced a commendable fightback with birdies at 11, 15 and 16 hauling him back to one over par. 'I may have done it before but I don't ever recall doing it'.
Mickelson is regarded as having arguably the greatest short game in golfing history but has perennially struggled with the driver.
"Very important, just to get the confidence up", he said.
And it was also a good day for Mount Juliet's Gavin Moynihan (24), who shot a bogey-free, five-under 67 at the longer but easier Creek Course to share 32nd as Portmarnock amateur Conor Purcell (21) battled back from three-over after nine to post a level par 72.
Pebble Beach is a happy hunting ground for the 48-year-old, who has won the event four times.
The Englishwoman shot an 8-under 65 on the Creek course at the 13th Beach Golf Links, where men and women played in alternate groups in the unique tournament format also sanctioned by the men's European Tour.
Everyone in the field plays each of the three courses, before the cut is made for the final round at Pebble.
Dustin Johnson, not so fresh after his victory Sunday halfway around the world at the Saudi International, and Jordan Spieth each had a five-under 66 at Monterey. Mickelson is not, though he has won more majors of now active players than anyone other than Tiger Woods.
EUROPEAN/LPGA: At Barwon Heads, Australia, Felicity Johnson made a late move up the leader board at the LPGA's Vic Open to take a two-stroke lead after the opening round.
Spieth was even at the turn but ran in five birdies coming home.
"I didn't hit myself, I didn't fall down getting out of the rocks down there - it was a little slippery", Snedeker said.
American Jordan Spieth has not won a tournament since 2017 but the three-time major champion is feeling good.