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Late-arriving Phil Mickelson finishes first round with a flourish

BMW CHAMPIONSHIP AT A GLANCE

What: 2013 BMW Championship, third leg of PGA’s FedExCup playoffs.

When: Friday through Sunday.

Where: Conway Farms Golf Club, Lake Forest.

The field: Top 70 players in the FedEx Cup rankings, competing for $8 million purse, including $1.44 million to champion. Top 30 players are eligible for Tour championship in Atlanta.

TV: Golf Channel, 2 to 5 p.m. Friday; Golf Channel, noon to 2 p.m. Saturday; Ch. 5, 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday; Golf Channel, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday; Ch. 5, 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday.

For more information: bmwchamp­i­onshipusa.com or (847) 724-4600.

Despite not practicing at an unfamiliar course, Phil Mickelson birdied three of his last five holes to shoot a 1-under par 70 on Thursday after arriving here late Wednesday.

“Everything is fine,’’ Mickelson said, declining to give details on a family matter. “I’m here now, I’m ready to play. It wasn’t the way I wanted to prepare for an event, having not seen the course. But I’ll feel more comfortable tomorrow. I have to get a little bit more aggressive. I was a little cautious today not knowing what to expect.’’

First-round sellout

The opening round on Thursday was a sellout, tourney officials said. No attendance figure was given, but at least 25,000 were on hand.

The number of people using their “any-day’’ tickets on opening day was surprising, a BMW spokesman said, adding that tickets are available for the remaining three days. More space at spectator parking lots will be opened to accommodate the strong attendance.

No harm, no bogey

Jason Day groaned when Keegan Bradley’s tee shot went wide right on the par-five eighth and took a nasty bounce.

“Was that a person or a cart path?’’ said Bradley, hustling off the tee. Turned out it was just a cart path. A relieved Bradley punched an iron from the rough and stuck his pitch close for birdie.

Tap-ins

Brandt Snedeker’s seven consecutive birdies tied a tournament record set by Hubert Green at Butler National in 1985.

◆ Winfield’s Kevin Streelman (66), who is tied for third, is staying with Brian Urlacher this week.

◆ After shooting an 80, Lee Westwood tweeted that he shouldn’t have played because of a neck and back issue, “but ­everybody wants to play in the tour championship.’’



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