And now it won't even count.
The opening round was halted by rain with only 30 players from the 144-man field on the golf course. As the rain became heavier, PGA Tour officials decided to scrap the round and start over when the rain stopped, and Riviera dried out enough to resume.
It was the first time a round was scrapped on the PGA Tour since the Deutsche Bank Championship outside Boston in 2013.
Mickelson hit his opening tee shot into a bunker to the right of the 10th hole, one of the worst places to be in any conditions. That's when the horn sounded to stop play because of water that began to accumulate on tee boxes, though players were allowed to finish the hole if they wanted to, because the weather didn't present a dangerous situation.
Jordan Spieth and Xander Schauffele chose to stop. Mickelson kept going, and he sent his next shot over the green and into a slightly plugged lie in wet sand. Unable to control the spin, he blasted out and watched the ball roll across the shallow green and into another bunker.
At this point, he was facing double bogey or worse.
But his fourth shot, which looked to have enough speed to go into the back bunker again, instead found the bottom of the cup for par.
He walked back to his caddie and said with a wide smile, "How about we go in now?"
During the delay, Mickelson posted the video on Twitter and couldn't help but mention that it "still happened."
Spieth (photo, holding umbrella for caddie Michael Greller) was far more fortunate. His tee shot struck the cart path left of the 10th green, hit it again and bounded beyond the forward area of the 11th tee into thick grass that came up to his shins. His only option was to chop it toward the green and hope to get up-and-down. A tiny red flag was next to the spot where he marked his ball with a tee when play was stopped.
Now he won't have to go back there to play his next shot—unless he somehow winds up there again.
Along with the rain, PGA Tour official Steve Rintoul questioned the light available when play began at 6:40 a.m. The early start is due to a 144-man field that makes it difficult for everyone to finish before dark.
That early, with cloud cover and rain, made it tougher than usual to see.
"We felt that the visibility had in fact deteriorated... during the 50 minutes of play, and that conditions had actually deteriorated and visibility was going downhill, making depth perception and reading the line of play to be very challenging," Rintoul said.
It was appropriate that Mickelson, of all people, decided to finish out the hole, even as it was going badly for him until he holed the third bunker shot for par. Just four days ago, when it was too dark to finish the final two holes at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, Mickelson wanted to keep playing with a three-shot lead. "I can see fine," he said.