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Friday, 30 August 2013
Brian Davis  (Getty Images)
Brian Davis (Getty Images)

England’s Brian Davis and Open Champion Phil Mickelson shared the lead on the opening day of the Deutsche Bank Championship on eight-under-par 63 with Sergio Garcia among those right in the mix.

Mickelson, who lifted the Claret Jug at Muirfield in July a week after winning the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open, was well on course to card a magical 59 after starting his round on the back nine with seven birdies to reach the turn on 28.

Yet the front nine posed a different proposition for the left-hander, who found the bunker at the first for his only bogey of the round before bouncing back with an eagle on the next after landing his second shot to two feet from the pin.

However, a run of pars followed before the American finished his round birdie-bogey at TPC in Boston to share the lead with England's Brian Davis.

"I still felt I could have shot three or four under (on the finishing nine)," Mickelson told the PGA Tour website. "I wasn't too worried about shooting 59."

Mickelson, who also opened with a round of 60 at the Waste Management Phoenix Open earlier this year, was satisfied with his round, however.

"I putted really well. There were a couple that didn't go that had every bit as good a chance to go as the ones that did and that's the sign that you're putting well," he added.

"There was only one putt the entire I should have made; the par putt on one that didn't go in and the other ones were really good."

Davis, 80th in the FedEx Cup and needing a good week to qualify for the BMW Championship for the fifth time in his career, joined Mickelson at the top of the leaderboard after an unblemished round.

The 39-year-old catapulted up the standings with five birdies in seven holes before finishing with back-to-back birdies to move to eight under, one shot ahead of Kevin Stadler, who made eight birdies and a solitary bogey on the 12th in his round of 64.

Garcia was right in contention on the back of a stunning 65 with birdies on the 12, 18, two, three, four, five and seven, his sole dropped shot coming at the 15th.

The upshot was the Spaniard being just two shots adrift.

Meanwhile, Lee Westwood managed three gains apiece on the front and back nine to offset his sole bogey on 17 and was a stroke further back alongside Ian Poulter in a 16 strong pack.

South Africa’s Ernie Els and Charl Schwartzel ended on four under, as did in-form Swede Henrik Stenson.

Defending champion Rory McIlroy was left frustrated after a topsy-turvy one-under-par 70.

The Northern Irishman has endured largely frustrating fortunes this year and on Friday he recorded six birdies and five bogeys.

"The mistakes are coming from missing it in the wrong spots," he said.

"It's a bit mental but I still made six birdies, so not that much is wrong, (but) it's the worst it could have been."

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