Phil Mickelson putts for a birdie on the 10th green during the first round of the Honda Classic golf tournament, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2016, in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Lynne Sladky
February 25, 2016

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. (AP) A combination of the wind and PGA National made this a rude welcome to the Florida swing.

Shane Lowry, David Lingmerth and George McNeill shared the early lead at 3-under 67 on Thursday, and they had to work hard for it in gusts that approached 30 mph on a course that is difficult even in calm conditions.

Phil Mickelson didn't lose any momentum from his runner-up finish at Pebble Beach two weeks ago. He was tied for the lead at the turn, only to drop two shots and miss a pair of good birdie chances. Even so, he opened with a 69.

Lingmerth was the steadiest of the early leaders, making only one bogey.

Rory McIlroy and Rickie Fowler were among the late starters.

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