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“We need to hit one tee shot so we could finish,” Mickelson said. “They moved out of the way, and Keegan hit a tee shot and they went back and finished the hole. … It’s nice when guys like that help out.”

Horschel’s surge shouldn’t be much of a surprise. He’s having a breakout year, with six finishes in the top 10 on the PGA Tour, including his victory at the Zurich Classic in late April.

“I’ve acquired some patience, not as much as I wish I had,” said the 26-year-old from Jacksonville Beach, Fla.

Still, he’s no Mickelson. The most recent personal buzz about Lefty was his decision to attend his daughter’s eighth-grade graduation ceremony on the eve of the Open, then fly cross-country overnight to play his first round Thursday on little sleep.

Horschel? Well, his official PGA Tour bio says that he “read all four Twilight books in two weeks and is a believer in Bigfoot and UFOs.”

He’s also said he’s steadied his game with the help of sports psychologist Fran Pirozzolo, who helped convince Horschel to think of the U.S. Open as “another tournament.”

“I know it’s a big event. I know it’s a historical event,” Horschel said. “But one thing that me and Fran have worked on is limiting the distractions.”