Golf-'But I won the PGA' - Mickelson brushes off poor start at Colonial

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PGA: Charles Schwab Challenge - First Round

(Reuters) - Phil Mickelson may have struggled at Colonial Country Club on Thursday in his first start since becoming golf's oldest major champion but did not appear too bothered as he was still revelling in his PGA Championship victory.

The 50-year-old Mickelson shot a three-over-par 73 in Fort Worth, Texas, that left him near the bottom of the field at the Charles Schwab Challenge.

"Yeah, I didn't play well. I shot three-over. But I won the PGA, so..." Mickelson said in response to the first question of his post-round news conference.

In case anyone had not heard him, Mickelson, who bogeyed two of his first three holes and struggled with his tee shots and putting, offered another reminder of his feat while answering the second question.

"You can't play this course out of the rough because then you have tree trouble, which I had repeatedly, and I didn't putt well," said Mickelson. "But I won the PGA, so I'll see if I can get it turned around for tomorrow."

As Mickelson, in his final PGA Tour event before seeking the final leg of the career Grand Slam at the June 17-20 U.S. Open, made his way around the course he was constantly congratulated by fans for his PGA Championship win.

"It feels incredible because it's been a long time since somebody has congratulated me for my play," said Mickelson.

"That's a moment, that's a week, that's a tournament, that's a win that I'll cherish forever. I enjoy when people say that."

(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto, editing by Ed Osmond)