Mickelson, a four-time victor of the tournament, ended the day sharing third place at six-under par and just a shot back of the leading duo of fellow Americans Scott Langley and Brian Gay who each shot 64s also at Monterey.
"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.
"So, if I just think about it that way, it kind of certainly makes me a little happier, frees me up a bit". Listed behind him are Matthew Fitzpatrick, Russell Knox, Martin Laird and Graeme McDowell, but I don't foresee a big week coming for any of them, either, though Fitz could be an interesting punt in his maiden voyage to Pebble.
Mickelson thrust himself into contention after hitting every fairway for the first time in his career. And so there's an emotional tie to this place.
And it was also a good day for Mount Juliet's Gavin Moynihan (24), who shot a bogey-free, five-under 67 at the longer but easier Creek Course to share 32nd as Portmarnock amateur Conor Purcell (21) battled back from three-over after nine to post a level par 72. Mickelson is not, though he has won more majors of now active players than anyone other than Tiger Woods. However, there is no revival of the Irish Senior Open, which was last played in 2010.
It was not just Mickelson's driver that was working.
Although the Queenslander's drought is nearly out to three years, Scott feels he is on the cusp of reclaiming his top form as he prepares for this week's Pebble Beach Pro Am in California.
"The pain just didn't go away and the results from some scans showed a bone bruise in my left wrist", he said.
"I played 18 holes on Tuesday and that was my first 18 holes since 29th December".
"I felt that I was practising better than I was playing, which is frustrating", the Greystones star said of his struggle to score well during the Middle East swing. "I'm feeling like a genius right now, but at the time I didn't know".
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