MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Phil Mickelson came to the St. Jude Classic wanting to tune up for the U.S. Open at Pinehurst by finishing strong.
He did just that Thursday.
Mickelson shot a 3-under 67, birdieing three of his final four holes in windy conditions before a thunderstorm softened up TPC Southwind. It was his first round in the 60s since the third round at the Wells Fargo Championship. He hadn't shot below 70 since. He missed the cut at The Players Championship and tied for 49th last week in the Memorial following a visit from FBI agents and lingering questions about an insider-trading investigation. Lefty hasn't won in 19 events dating to the British Open and is among the players in Tennessee tuning up for Pinehurst.
"I did exactly what I need to do and some momentum that I need heading into the U.S. Open," Mickelson said. "Tomorrow's round, the same thing. Finish strong and play a good round."
Ben Crane shot a 7-under 63 giving him the lead in the suspended first round, taking advantage of the 3 1/2-hour delay that left nearly perfect scoring conditions with no wind and rain-softened greens. He had five of his seven birdies on his final nine, the last a few minutes before play was suspended because of darkness.
Sixty players were unable to finish the round.
Peter Malnati shot a 65, and Billy Horschel also was 5 under with two holes left to play. Retief Goosen and Joe Durant each had a 66, while Stuart Appleby, Zach Johnson and Jason Bohn were on the course at 4 under. Appleby had a hole-in-one on the 157-yard eighth hole, using a 7-iron. That was his 17th hole, and the last one he completed.
At Westlake, Ohio, Jason Allred shot a 1-over-par 72 to finish the opening day of the Cleveland Open tied for 83rd.
Allred, an Ashland native, trails the event leader Max Homa, who finished the day with a 7-under 64.
Manulife Financial Classic
At Waterloo, Ontario, Michelle Wie and defending champion Hee Young Park shared the first-round lead at 6-under 65 in the Manulife Financial Classic at windswept Grey Silo.
Wie, the winner in Hawaii in April, birdied three of the last four holes in her morning round. She's seeking her second victory in Canada after winning the 2010 Canadian Women's Open in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Park had a bogey-free round in the afternoon. Last year, the South Korean player beat Angela Stanford on the third playoff hole after they finished at 26-under 258 to match the tour record for lowest total score.
At Atzenbrugg, Austria, England's Adam Gee and Sweden's Mikael Lundberg shot 5-under 67 in windy conditions to share the first-round lead in the Lyoness Open.
American Berry Henson was a stroke back along with Wales' Rhys Davies, England's Richard Finch and Mattew Baldwin.