Power in the mix at La Quinta
Seamus Power

Seamus Power

West Waterford's Seamus Power recovered well from an early double bogey to card a five under par 67 in the opening round of the CareerBuilder Challenge in California.

The Dungarvan rookie had 27 putts in a seven-birdie round on the Nicklaus Tournament Course at PGA West, missing just three greens and finishing the day ranked sixth for putts per green hit in regulation.

Starting on the back nine, the Web.com Tour graduate followed birdies at the 11th and 13th with a seven at the par-five 15th. 

But he birdied the 16th to turn in 35, then came home in four under 32 with birdies at the first, fourth, fifth and seventh.

The 29-year old is in a 14-man logjam for 11th place on five under par alongside star names such as Paul Casey and Sean O'Hair, just three strokes behind surprise leader Dominic Bozzelli.

Making his first start of the season, rookie Bozzelli holed out from 113 yards for an eagle and added six birdies for an eight under par 64 on the Stadium Course for a one-shot lead over Patton Kizzire (NT), Hudson Swafford (LQ), Jhonattan Vegas  (NT) and Harold Varner III  (LQ).

"That definitely got things going for sure," said Bozzelli, who finished seventh on the Web.com Tour last season. "I was trying to control the spin a little bit, could have been a 50-degree, but I went with kind of knocking down a pitching wedge. It took a couple bounces and came in the back door."

Phil Mickelson posted a four under par 68 at LaQuinta Country Club in his first start after a three-month layoff that saw him undergo two separate sports hernia surgeries.

“I feel good and I want to play,” said Mickelson. “I don’t know where my game is, but I figure the only way to find out is to play.”