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Graeme McDowell three off the lead after 68 at happy hunting ground Pebble Beach

Phil Mickelson hit every fairway for first time in two decades, meanwhile.

On form: Phil Mickelson.
On form: Phil Mickelson.

GRAEME MCDOWELL ROLLED back the years at Pebble Beach to sit three shots off the lead Graeme McDowell after the opening round of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am in California.

The Northern Irishman won the 2010 US Open at the venue and looked likely to set the pace after day one, but a three putt on the last meant he carded a 68 to finish at four-under par alongside ten other players.

In-form Shane Lowry continued his positive start to the year to open with a 71.

Brian Gay and Scott Langley are tied atop the leaderboard but Phil Mickelson stole the show on the fairway.

Gay and fellow American Langley carded seven-under-par 64s for a one-stroke lead in Pebble Beach on Thursday.

Mickelson is in a six-way tie for third place following his memorable 65, which saw the American star hit every single fairway for the first time since 1998.

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Five-time major champion Mickelson started his round with a birdie on the par-four first hole. He made a bogey and another birdie before the turn.

On his back nine, the 43-time PGA Tour champion tallied five birdies at Monterey Peninsula Country Club.

The opening round was the first time since in more than 20 years that Mickelson – who was also 17 of 18 on greens in regulation and had 32 putts – hit all 13 fairways

“To the best of my knowledge it’s taken me 27 years and a few months to hit all fairways in a single round in a competition,” said Mickelson, who initially believed it was the first time he had accomplished the feat. “I may have done it before but I don’t ever recall doing it.”

Former world number one Jason Day – tied for second at last year’s tournament – joins Mickelson in third, while defending champion Ted Potter Jr sits at the very bottom of the leaderboard following his forgettable 10-over-par 82.

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