Mickelson shows he's in command at Quail Hollow
Phil Mickelson has figured out the secret to the greens at Quail Hollow. Or maybe he's just had a lot of good bounces for two days.
Mickelson opened with a pair of 15-foot birdie putts, dropped in a 40-foot putt at the turn and made back-to-back birdies late in his round Friday. He finished with a 5-under 67 for a two-shot lead going into the weekend at the Wells Fargo Championship.
Quail Hollow, renowned for pristine conditions, had everything go wrong with spring and wound up with putting surfaces that are mostly choppy with brown patches where the grass has died. Two greens were entirely replaced by sod last week.
Despite that, Mickelson has taken only 50 putts in two rounds. And the most staggering statistic of all? He hasn't missed from inside 10 feet.
"I think that the greens are putting very, very good, obviously, because I've putted them well," Mickelson said.
For a tournament that already has had six major champions win in the 10-year history, Mickelson is missing from the list. And it's a title he dearly wants. He was at 9-under 135 heading into the weekend, though there is plenty of star power around him.
Nick Watney played with Mickelson the opening two rounds and looks efficient, going bogey-free on the back nine. He had a 70 and was at 7-under 137, along with George McNeill (68) and Scott Gardiner, the 37-year-old tour rookie who had missed eight straight cuts coming into the Quail Hollow. Gardiner, the first Aboriginal Australian to become a pro golfer, ran off four straight birdies at the turn and had a 67.
Goodes in front at Insperity: Mike Goodes shot a 3-under 69 in wind that gusted to 30 mph to take a one-stroke lead after the first round of the Champions Tour's Insperity Championship.
Only seven players in the 81-man field broke par on an unseasonably cold and blustery day. A gust blew down one scoreboard at The Woodlands Country Club.
Goodes bogeyed the second hole, rallied with par saves on the fifth and sixth holes and ran in a 20-foot birdie putt on No. 7. He birdied two of the last three holes.
Gene Sauers had the lead at 4-under par going into the par-4 17th, but hit a 9-iron into the water for a double bogey and finished at 70.
Thai teen keeps Kinsgmill lead: Ariya Jutanugarn weathered the wind and kept her lead in the LPGA Tour's Kingsmill Championship.
The 17-year-old Thai player bounced back from three early bogeys with three birdies in an even-par 71 that left her at 7-under, a shot ahead of second-ranked Stacy Lewis and Angela Stanford on the windswept River Course.
Lewis and Stanford both had their second consecutive 68s, the best rounds of the day. Sandra Gal, Suzann Pettersen and Cristie Kerr were two shots back.