Half way through round one of the Valero Texas Open, Phil Mickelson breaks his club but fights back to shoot two under par

Blustery weather conditions were not the only challenge facing Phil Mickelson on day one of the Valero Texas Open. Lefty, who is playing in the event ahead of next month’s Masters at Augusta National, broke his 8-iron on the par 4 12th hole.

Video: Phil Mickelson breaks club at Valero Texas Open

After his drive leaked into a fairway bunker, Mickelson’s next shot saw the shaft of his 8-iron snap as the clubface made contact with the ball sending the head of the offending club firing into the face of the trap. In the end the ball finished well short of the green but on the fairway.

Anyone who has broken a golf club of their own will recognise the look of surprise on Mickelson’s face as the head suddenly becomes divorced from the shaft.

Mickelson was level par at the time but dropped to +1 with a subsequent bogey. With only 13 clubs in his bag and facing gusty winds, the prospects for the American didn’t look good.

Mickelson however fought back with three birdies in the last five holes to finish the round in a tie for fourth place. It was impressive performance that leaves him three shots behind the overnight leader Charley Hoffman.

Given the club break and the tough on course conditions, this was perhaps Phil Mickelson’s most impressive performance of the year so far. The American has started 2015 in relatively poor form with two missed cuts in five events and a best finish of tied 17th at the Honda Classic.

Phil Mickelson will play in his 23rd Masters at Augusta National next month, looking for his fourth Green Jacket. Despite his disappointing early season form he will start the event as one of the clear favourites alongside Rory McIlroy. If the American wants to succeed, one thing’s for sure, he’ll need a new 8-iron in the bag!