Ben Crane opened the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational with 4-under 66, leaving him four shots behind Day 1 leader Jim Furyk.
After his round, Crane credited Phil Mickelson with a recent string of pep talks to boost his confidence.
"Phil has helped me," Crane said. "I spent some time with him a few weeks ago, and we spent some time together, and he's helped me and encouraged me. He was calling himself the 'golf whisperer' out there, helping me some with some shots and stuff."
Mickelson has struggled himself, shooting only two rounds under par since the final day of the HP Byron Nelson Championship. The four-time major winner, however, has a great golf mind. Crane said Mickelson is sharing some of that wisdom with him.
In exchange, Crane offered his services to Mickelson to pick off Keegan Bradley and Dustin Johnson in one of his famous Tuesday pre-tournament matches.
"Phil and I partnered up and got the best of those guys, and they said don't run too far because we're going to play again next week. Bones said, 'Hey, it might be a little too early. I don't want you peaking before Tuesday (at the PGA Championship), so easy now.'"